Divergence in ectomycorrhizal communities with foreign Douglas-fir populations and implications for assisted migration.
Assisted migration of forest trees has been widely proposed as a climate change adaptation strategy, but moving tree populations to match anticipated future climates may disrupt the geographically based, coevolved association suggested to exist between host trees and ectomycorrhizal fungal (EMF) communities. We explored this issue by examining the consistency of EMF communities among populations of 40 year-old Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) trees in a common-garden field trial using four provenances from contrasting coastal climates in southwestern British Columbia. Considerable variation in EMF community composition within test sites was found, ranging from 0.38 to 0.65 in the mean similarity index, and the divergence in EMF communities from local populations increased with site productivity. Clinal patterns in colonization success were detected for generalist and specialist EMF species on only the two productive test sites. Host population effects were limited to EMF species abundance rather than species loss, as richness per site averaged 15.0 among provenances and did not differ by transfer extent (up to 450 km), while Shannon's diversity index declined slightly. Large differences in colonization rates of specialist fungi, such as Tomentella stuposa and Clavulina cristata, raise the possibility that EMF communities maladapted to soil conditions contributed to the inferior growth of some host populations on productive sites. The results of the study suggest locally based specificity in host-fungal communities is likely a contributing factor in the outcome of provenance trials, and should be a consideration in analyzing seed-transfer effects and developing strategies for assisted migration.
B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, P.O. Box 9536 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9C4, Canada. Marty.Kranabetter@gov.bc.ca
SourceEcological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America 22:2 2012 Mar pg 550-60
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't