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Fire regime, not time-since-fire, affects soil fungal community diversity and composition in temperate grasslands


Egidi, E and McMullan-Fisher, S and Morgan, JW and May, T and Zeeman, B and Franks, AE, Fire regime, not time-since-fire, affects soil fungal community diversity and composition in temperate grasslands, FEMS Microbiology Letters, 363, (17) Article fnw196. ISSN 0378-1097 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 FEMS

DOI: doi:10.1093/femsle/fnw196


Frequent burning is commonly undertaken to maintain diversity in temperate grasslands of southern Australia. How burning affects below-ground fungal community diversity remains unknown. We show, using a fungal rDNA metabarcoding approach (Illumina MiSeq), that the fungal community composition was influenced by fire regime (frequency) but not time-since-fire. Fungal community composition was resilient to direct fire effects, most likely because grassland fires transfer little heat to the soil. Differences in the fungal community composition due to fire regime was likely due to associated changes that occur in vegetation with recurrent fire, via the break up of obligate symbiotic relationships. However, fire history only partially explains the observed dissimilarity in composition among the soil samples, suggesting a distinctiveness in composition in each grassland site. The importance of considering changes in soil microbe communities when managing vegetation with fire is highlighted.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:community resilience, prescribed burning, NGS, grassland, fungi
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:McMullan-Fisher, S (Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher)
ID Code:117119
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2017-05-31
Last Modified:2017-10-13

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