Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi associate with plants to conform one of the most important symbioses in terrestrial ecosystems, with important incidence in the provision of some ecosystem services.
Álvaro López García presented on December 6, 2016, the seminar “Taxonomic and functional diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in metal polluted soils” within the Cycle of seminars of Section for Terrestrial Ecology, Deptartment of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
To deepen in how anthropogenic disturbance affect the taxonomic and functional diversity of ECM, we characterized the ECM fungal communities associated with holm oak trees used in the restoration of the Aznalcóllar toxic mine spill (SW Spain). The comparison between contaminated and control (non-contaminated) sites showed no differences in terms of taxonomic diversity. However a certain clustering in key traits of ECM fungi was found in communities exposed to higher levels of heavy metal pollution. This finding is in agreement with what expected from an environmental filtering process, i.e. species in a community tend to be more similar between them than expected by chance, and indicates that the functional diversity of ECM in contaminated sites is lower than in control sites.