Prolonged impacts of past agriculture and ungulate overabundance on soil fungal communities in restored forests

Shinichi Tatsumi, Shunsuke Matsuoka, Saori Fujii, Kobayashi Makoto, Takashi Osono, Forest Isbell, Akira S. Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Soil fungi can help improve ecosystem restoration, yet our understanding of how they reassemble in degraded land is limited. Here, using DNA metabarcoding, we studied the fungal community structure in reforested sites following agricultural abandonment and ungulate overabundance. Two treatments, namely “reforestation using different numbers of tree species” and “deer exclusion,” have been applied for multiple decades in the study sites. We found that local fungal richness (alpha diversity) and total fungal richness (gamma diversity) were 1.9–2.9 and 1.3–1.9 times greater, respectively, in reforested stands than in natural forests. These results were regardless of the number of tree species planted in the reforested stands. Conversely, reforested stands had a spatially homogenized community structure with relatively lower degrees of compositional dissimilarity among sites within each stand (beta diversity). These findings were attributable to lower environmental heterogeneity, stronger dispersal limitation, and a comparatively shorter time since the onset of community assembly in reforested stands. Deer exclosures had no detectable effect on fungal community structure. Overall, the agricultural legacy in fungal community structure appears to have persisted for decades, even under proactive restoration of aboveground vegetation. Direct human intervention belowground may therefore be necessary for the recovery of soil biota once altered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)930-939
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental DNA
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank two anonymous reviewers for invaluable comments, the Shiretoko Nature Foundation for providing logistical support for our field work, and the members of the Shiretoko Biodiversity Evaluation Project for assistance in the field and laboratory work. We are also grateful to Marc W. Cadotte for thoughtful feedbacks, Jia Pu for her support in statistical analysis, Keiichi Okada for his advice on fungal guilds, and Bill Liu for English language editing. ST was supported by the Grant-in-Aids for JSPS Fellows PD (No. 15J10614) and the Young Scientists B (No. 16K18715) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). SM was supported by the Grant-in-Aids for Young Scientists B (No. 17K15199) from the JSPS. ASM was supported by the Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Environment Fund and the Pro Natura Foundation Japan

Funding Information:
We thank two anonymous reviewers for invaluable comments, the Shiretoko Nature Foundation for providing logistical support for our field work, and the members of the Shiretoko Biodiversity Evaluation Project for assistance in the field and laboratory work. We are also grateful to Marc W. Cadotte for thoughtful feedbacks, Jia Pu for her support in statistical analysis, Keiichi Okada for his advice on fungal guilds, and Bill Liu for English language editing. ST was supported by the Grant‐in‐Aids for JSPS Fellows PD (No. 15J10614) and the Young Scientists B (No. 16K18715) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). SM was supported by the Grant‐in‐Aids for Young Scientists B (No. 17K15199) from the JSPS. ASM was supported by the Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Environment Fund and the Pro Natura Foundation Japan

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Environmental DNA published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • biotic homogenization
  • community assembly
  • DNA metabarcoding
  • ecosystem restoration
  • forest biodiversity
  • soil microbes

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