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Archive data supporting the results in the paper: Long-term soil warming alters fine root dynamics and morphology, and their ectomycorrhizal fungal community in a temperate forest soil"

Citation

Kwatcho Kengdo, Steve et al. (2022), Archive data supporting the results in the paper: Long-term soil warming alters fine root dynamics and morphology, and their ectomycorrhizal fungal community in a temperate forest soil", Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jwstqjqbj

Abstract

Climate warming is predicted to affect temperate forests severely, but the response of fine roots, key to plant nutrition, water uptake, soil carbon and nutrient cycling is unclear. Understanding how fine roots will respond to increasing temperature is a prerequisite for predicting the functioning of forests in a warmer climate. We studied the response of fine roots and their ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungal and root-associated bacterial communities to soil warming by 4 °C in a mixed spruce-beech forest in the Austrian Limestone Alps after 8 and 14 years of soil warming, respectively. Fine root biomass (FRB) and fine root production were 17% and 128% higher in the warmed plots, respectively, after 14 years. The increase in FRB (13%) was not significant after 8 years of treatment, whereas specific root length, specific root area, and root tip density were significantly higher in warmed plots at both sampling occasions. Soil warming did not affect EcM exploration types and diversity, but changed their community composition, with an increase in the relative abundance of Cenoccocum at 0 – 10 cm soil depth, a drought-stress tolerant genus, and an increase in short and long-distance exploration types like Sebacina and Boletus at 10 – 20 cm soil depth. Warming increased the root-associated bacterial diversity but did not affect their community composition. Soil warming did not affect nutrient concentrations of fine roots, though we found indications of limited soil phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) availability. Our findings suggest that, in the studied ecosystem, global warming could persistently increase soil carbon inputs due to accelerated fine root growth and turnover, and could simultaneously alter fine root morphology and EcM fungal community composition towards improved nutrient foraging. 

Funding

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Award: BO 1741/13-1

Austrian Science Fund, Award: D-A-Ch project I 3745