Fungal communities of lichen-dominated biological soil crusts

Diversity, relative microbial biomass, and their relationship to disturbance and crust cover

Scott T. Bates, Thomas H. Nash, Ken Sweat, Ferran Garcia-Pichel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Molecular methodologies were used to characterize fungal communities associated with lichen-dominated biological soil crusts (BSCs) at two sites on the Colorado Plateau (USA) in order to investigate their diversity and abundance, in relation to that of bacteria, as well as how these parameters corresponded to overall soil crust cover and the presence of anthropogenic disturbance. Fungal community diversity and composition were assessed with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting of PCR amplified ribosomal genes and by sequencing. Quantitative PCR, specific for fungi as well as bacteria, was used to evaluate relative microbial densities. Two sites with similar soil characteristics, both of which contained well developed BSCs dominated by lichens, were studied. Results indicated that while a considerable diversity of fungi is present within these BSCs, much higher than what has previously been determined for cyanobacteria-dominated crusts, fungi contribute less biomass and are less diverse than their bacterial counterparts. Fungal diversity in lichen-dominated BSCs was negatively correlated with disturbance and positively correlated with crust cover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1192-1199
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume74
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Fingerprint

soil crusts
soil crust
fungal communities
lichen
lichens
microbial biomass
crust
disturbance
biomass
fungus
fungi
bacterium
bacteria
denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis
anthropogenic activities
Cyanobacteria
cyanobacterium
electrokinesis
plateaus
quantitative polymerase chain reaction

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Biological soil crust
  • Colorado Plateau
  • DGGE
  • Fungal diversity
  • Lichens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Ecology

Cite this

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abstract = "Molecular methodologies were used to characterize fungal communities associated with lichen-dominated biological soil crusts (BSCs) at two sites on the Colorado Plateau (USA) in order to investigate their diversity and abundance, in relation to that of bacteria, as well as how these parameters corresponded to overall soil crust cover and the presence of anthropogenic disturbance. Fungal community diversity and composition were assessed with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting of PCR amplified ribosomal genes and by sequencing. Quantitative PCR, specific for fungi as well as bacteria, was used to evaluate relative microbial densities. Two sites with similar soil characteristics, both of which contained well developed BSCs dominated by lichens, were studied. Results indicated that while a considerable diversity of fungi is present within these BSCs, much higher than what has previously been determined for cyanobacteria-dominated crusts, fungi contribute less biomass and are less diverse than their bacterial counterparts. Fungal diversity in lichen-dominated BSCs was negatively correlated with disturbance and positively correlated with crust cover.",
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AU - Nash, Thomas H.

AU - Sweat, Ken

AU - Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

PY - 2010/10

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N2 - Molecular methodologies were used to characterize fungal communities associated with lichen-dominated biological soil crusts (BSCs) at two sites on the Colorado Plateau (USA) in order to investigate their diversity and abundance, in relation to that of bacteria, as well as how these parameters corresponded to overall soil crust cover and the presence of anthropogenic disturbance. Fungal community diversity and composition were assessed with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting of PCR amplified ribosomal genes and by sequencing. Quantitative PCR, specific for fungi as well as bacteria, was used to evaluate relative microbial densities. Two sites with similar soil characteristics, both of which contained well developed BSCs dominated by lichens, were studied. Results indicated that while a considerable diversity of fungi is present within these BSCs, much higher than what has previously been determined for cyanobacteria-dominated crusts, fungi contribute less biomass and are less diverse than their bacterial counterparts. Fungal diversity in lichen-dominated BSCs was negatively correlated with disturbance and positively correlated with crust cover.

AB - Molecular methodologies were used to characterize fungal communities associated with lichen-dominated biological soil crusts (BSCs) at two sites on the Colorado Plateau (USA) in order to investigate their diversity and abundance, in relation to that of bacteria, as well as how these parameters corresponded to overall soil crust cover and the presence of anthropogenic disturbance. Fungal community diversity and composition were assessed with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting of PCR amplified ribosomal genes and by sequencing. Quantitative PCR, specific for fungi as well as bacteria, was used to evaluate relative microbial densities. Two sites with similar soil characteristics, both of which contained well developed BSCs dominated by lichens, were studied. Results indicated that while a considerable diversity of fungi is present within these BSCs, much higher than what has previously been determined for cyanobacteria-dominated crusts, fungi contribute less biomass and are less diverse than their bacterial counterparts. Fungal diversity in lichen-dominated BSCs was negatively correlated with disturbance and positively correlated with crust cover.

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