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Data from: Mycorrhizal diversity, seed germination and long-term changes in population size across nine populations of the terrestrial orchid Neottia ovata

Citation

Jacquemyn, Hans et al. (2015), Data from: Mycorrhizal diversity, seed germination and long-term changes in population size across nine populations of the terrestrial orchid Neottia ovata, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6tj39

Abstract

In plant species that rely on mycorrhizal symbioses for germination and seedling establishment, seedling recruitment and temporal changes in abundance can be expected to depend on fungal community composition and local environmental conditions. However, disentangling the precise factors that determine recruitment success in species that critically rely on mycorrhizal fungi represents a major challenge. In this study, we used seed germination experiments, 454 amplicon pyrosequencing and assessment of soil conditions to investigate the factors driving changes in local abundance in 28 populations of the orchid Neottia ovata. Comparison of population sizes measured in 2003 and 2013 showed that nearly 60% of the studied populations had declined in size (average growth rate across all populations: −0.01). Investigation of the mycorrhizal fungi in both the roots and soil revealed a total of 68 species of putatively mycorrhizal fungi, 21 of which occurred exclusively in roots, 25 that occurred solely in soil and 22 that were observed in both the soil and roots. Seed germination was limited and significantly and positively related to soil moisture content and soil pH, but not to fungal community composition. Large populations or populations with high population growth rates showed significantly higher germination than small populations or populations declining in size, but no significant relationships were found between population size or growth and mycorrhizal diversity. Overall, these results indicate that temporal changes in abundance were related to the ability of seeds to germinate, but at the same time they provided limited evidence that variation in fungal communities played an important role in determining population dynamics.

Usage Notes

Location

Belgium