University of Oulu

Ahonen, S.H.K., Ylänne, H., Väisänen, M., Ruotsalainen, A.L., Männistö, M., Markkola, A. and Stark, S. (2021), Reindeer grazing history determines the responses of subarctic soil fungal communities to warming and fertilization. New Phytol, 232: 788-801.

Reindeer grazing history determines the responses of subarctic soil fungal communities to warming and fertilization

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Author: Ahonen, Saija H. K.1; Ylänne, Henni2; Väisänen, Maria1,3;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, PO Box 3000, Oulu, FI-90014 Finland
2Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC), Lund University, Ekologihuset, Sölvegatan 37, Lund, 223 62 Sweden
3Arctic Center, University of Lapland, PO Box 122, Rovaniemi, FI-96101 Finland
4Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Ounasjoentie 6, Rovaniemi, FI-96100 Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-09-07


Composition and functioning of arctic soil fungal communities may alter rapidly due to the ongoing trends of warmer temperatures, shifts in nutrient availability, and shrub encroachment. In addition, the communities may also be intrinsically shaped by heavy grazing, which may locally induce an ecosystem change that couples with increased soil temperature and nutrients and where shrub encroachment is less likely to occur than in lightly grazed conditions.

We tested how 4 yr of experimental warming and fertilization affected organic soil fungal communities in sites with decadal history of either heavy or light reindeer grazing using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 ribosomal DNA region.

Grazing history largely overrode the impacts of short-term warming and fertilization in determining the composition of fungal communities. The less diverse fungal communities under light grazing showed more pronounced responses to experimental treatments when compared with the communities under heavy grazing. Yet, ordination approaches revealed distinct treatment responses under both grazing intensities.

If grazing shifts the fungal communities in Arctic ecosystems to a different and more diverse state, this shift may dictate ecosystem responses to further abiotic changes. This indicates that the intensity of grazing cannot be left out when predicting future changes in fungi-driven processes in the tundra.

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Series: New phytologist
ISSN: 0028-646X
ISSN-E: 1469-8137
ISSN-L: 0028-646X
Volume: 232
Issue: 2
Pages: 788 - 801
DOI: 10.1111/nph.17623
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (decision nos. 218121 and 130507 to SS and decision nos. 252323 and 310776 to MKM), the Otto A. Malm Foundation, Scholarship Fund of the University of Oulu, the Societas pro Fauna et Flora Fennica, and The Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation (personal grants to SHKA).
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2021 New Phytologist Foundation. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.