Communities of endophytic fungi in a Puerto Rican rainforest vary along a gradient of disturbance due to Hurricane Maria
AffiliationSchool of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
intermediate disturbance hypothesis
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd
CitationColón Carrión, N., Troche, C. L., & Arnold, A. E. (2022). Communities of endophytic fungi in a Puerto Rican rainforest vary along a gradient of disturbance due to Hurricane Maria. Ecology and Evolution, 12(12), e9618.
JournalEcology and Evolution
Rights© 2022 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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AbstractIncreases in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes influence the structure, function, and resilience of Caribbean forests. Trees in such forests harbor diverse fungal endophytes within leaves and roots. Fungal endophytes often are important for plant health and stress responses, but how their communities are impacted by hurricanes is not well known. We measured forest disturbance in Carite State Forest in Puerto Rico ca. 16 months after the passage of Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm. In three sites, each comprising three plots representing a local gradient of hurricane disturbance, we evaluated soil chemistry and used culture-free analyses to measure richness, phylogenetic diversity, and composition of endophyte communities in leaves and roots. We found that endophyte richness did not vary significantly among plant families or as a function of soil chemistry. Instead, leaf endophytes peaked in richness and decreased in phylogenetic diversity at intermediate levels of disturbance. Root endophytes did not show such variation, but both leaf- and root endophyte communities differed in species composition as a function of disturbance across the forest. Locations with less disturbance typically hosted distinctive assemblages of foliar endophytes, whereas more disturbed locations had more regionally homogeneous endophyte communities. Together, our results show that changes in endophyte richness and phylogenetic diversity can be detected in aboveground tissues more than a year after major storms. In turn, pervasive shifts in endophyte community composition both aboveground and belowground suggest a subtle and lasting effect of hurricanes that merits further study, potentially contributing to the promotion of spatially heterogeneous endophyte assemblages at a landscape scale in these diverse island forests. © 2022 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2022 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.