eCite Digital Repository

A fungal endophyte slows litter decomposition in streams


Leroy, CJ and Fischer, DG and Halstead, K and Pryor, M and Bailey, JK and Schweitzer, JA, A fungal endophyte slows litter decomposition in streams, Freshwater Biology, 56, (7) pp. 1426-1433. ISSN 0046-5070 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Not available

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Blackwell Publishing

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2011.02581.x


1. Phyllosphere interactions are known to influence a variety of tree canopy community members, but less frequently have they been shown to affect processes across ecosystem boundaries. Here, we show that a fungal endophyte (Rhytisma punctatum) slows leaf litter decomposition of a dominant riparian tree species (Acer macrophyllum) in an adjacent stream ecosystem. 2. Patches of leaf tissue infected by R. punctatum show significantly slower decomposition compared to both nearby uninfected tissue from the same leaf, and completely uninfected leaves. These reduced rates of decomposition existed despite 50% greater nitrogen in infected tissues and may be driven by slower rates of decomposition for fungal tissues themselves or by endophyte–hyphomycete interactions. 3. Across a temperate forest in the Pacific Northwest, approximately 72% of all A. macrophyllum leaves were infected by R. punctatum. Since R. punctatum infection can influence leaf tissue on entire trees and large quantities of leaf litter at the landscape scale, this infection could potentially result in a mosaic of ‘cold spots’ of litter decomposition and altered nutrient cycling in riparian zones where this infection is prevalent.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Acer macrophyllum; aquatic-terrestrial interaction; leaf litter decomposition; Pacific Northwest; Rhytisma punctatum
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Freshwater ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Fresh, ground and surface water biodiversity
UTAS Author:Bailey, JK (Associate Professor Joe Bailey)
UTAS Author:Schweitzer, JA (Dr Jen Schweitzer)
ID Code:78032
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2012-06-12
Last Modified:2012-08-30

Repository Staff Only: item control page