Relationship between soil fungal diversity and temperature in the maritime Antarctic

Newsham, Kevin K., Hopkins, David W., Carvalhais, Lilia C., Fretwell, Peter T., Rushton, Steven P., O'Donnell, Anthony G. and Dennis, Paul G. (2016) Relationship between soil fungal diversity and temperature in the maritime Antarctic. Nature Climate Change, 6 2: 182-186. doi:10.1038/nclimate2806

Author Newsham, Kevin K.
Hopkins, David W.
Carvalhais, Lilia C.
Fretwell, Peter T.
Rushton, Steven P.
O'Donnell, Anthony G.
Dennis, Paul G.
Title Relationship between soil fungal diversity and temperature in the maritime Antarctic
Journal name Nature Climate Change   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1758-6798
Publication date 2016-01-27
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nclimate2806
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 6
Issue 2
Start page 182
End page 186
Total pages 5
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Soil fungi have pivotal ecological roles as decomposers, pathogens and symbionts. Alterations to their diversity arising from climate change could have substantial effects on ecosystems, particularly those undergoing rapid warming that contain few species. Here, we report a study using pyrosequencing to assess fungal diversity in 29 soils sampled from a 1,650 km climatic gradient through the maritime Antarctic, the most rapidly warming region in the Southern Hemisphere. Using a ‘space-for-time’ substitution approach, we show that soil fungal diversity is higher in warmer habitats, with increases of 4.7 (observed) and 11.3 (predicted) fungal taxa per degree Celsius rise in surface temperature along the transect. Among 22 predictor variables, air temperature was the strongest and most consistent predictor of diversity. We propose that the current rapid warming in the maritime Antarctic (0.34 °C per decade) will facilitate the colonization of soil by a wider diversity of fungi than at present, with data from regression models suggesting 20–27% increases in fungal species richness in the southernmost soils by 2100. Such increases in diversity, which provide a sentinel for changes at lower latitudes, are likely to have substantial effects on nutrient cycling and, ultimately, productivity in the species-poor soils of maritime Antarctica.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2016 Collection
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