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Host effect and high ectomycorrhizal diversity in tropical rainforests on ultramafic soils in New Caledonia

Carriconde F., Gardes M., Bellanger J.M., Letellier K., Gigante S., Gourmelon V., Ibanez T., McCoy S., Goxe J., Read J., Maggia L.. 2019. Fungal Ecology, 39 : p. 201-212.

Tropical rainforests have been thought to have low prevalence and diversity of ectomycorrhizal symbioses. However, to date, tropical regions have been poorly sampled for ectomycorrhizal fungi. Here, we investigated ectomycorrhizal fungal community diversity and the role of host plants in shaping this diversity in three main ultramafic rainforests in New Caledonia, an archipelago renowned for its exceptional plant diversity and recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. Sampling of ectomycorrhizal root tips and fruit bodies in Nothofagus aequilateralis-dominated, Arillastrum gummiferum-dominated and mixed rainforests showed high fungal diversity with, in total, 28 lineages and 311 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), of which 95% might be endemic. We also found that host preference and host density influenced ectomycorrhizal community composition and contributed to the high fungal diversity of New Caledonian rainforests. Finally, the /cortinarius lineage dominated the below- and above-ground communities, which suggests that this lineage plays a central role in ultramafic ecosystems functioning.

Mots-clés : nouvelle-calédonie

Thématique : Foresterie - Considérations générales; Biologie du sol

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