Forests, Vol. 12, Pages 1321: Soil Fungal Communities and Enzyme Activities along Local Tree Species Diversity Gradient in Subtropical Evergreen Forest
Forests doi: 10.3390/f12101321
The majority of studies have found that an increase in tree species diversity can increase the productivity of forest stands thanks to complimentary effects with enhanced resource use efficiency or selection effects; however, it is unclear how tree species diversity affects the soil fungal community and enzyme activities in subtropical evergreen forests. In this study, we used soil high-throughput sequencing to investigate the soil fungal community structure and diversity in the central area of tree clusters in the gradient of tree species richness formed by four possible dominant tree species (Pinus massoniana Lamb., Choerospondias axillaris Roxb., Cyclobalanopsis glauca Thunb. and Lithocarpus glaber Thunb.) in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest. The results showed that soil organic carbon content and total nitrogen content were significantly higher in mixed tree clusters, and that soil fungal richness and diversity increased with the increase in tree species diversity (1–3 species). Soil acid phosphatase and urease activity were also enhanced with tree species diversity (p &lt; 0.05). The relative abundance of soil symbiotic fungi (ectomycorrhizal fungi) decreased, while the relative abundance of saprotrophic fungi increased. Redundancy analysis (RDA) revealed that soil acid phosphatase activity was the main factor affecting soil fungal communities and functional guilds, and that soil water content was the main driving force behind fungal trophic modes. In subtropical forests, changes in tree species diversity have altered the soil fungal community structure and trophic modes and functions, accelerating the decomposition of organic matter, increasing nutrient cycling, and perhaps also changing the nutrient absorption of trees.
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