Next Article in Journal
Response of Runoff and Sediment on Skid Trails of Varying Gradient and Traffic Intensity over a Two-Year Period
Next Article in Special Issue
Fungal Community and Ligninolytic Enzyme Activities in Quercus deserticola Trel. Litter from Forest Fragments with Increasing Levels of Disturbance
Previous Article in Journal
Genetic Diversity and Its Spatial Distribution in Self-Regenerating Norway Spruce and Scots Pine Stands
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2017, 8(12), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120474

Physical Conditions Regulate the Fungal to Bacterial Ratios of a Tropical Suspended Soil

1
Centre for Research in Biosciences, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
2
The Eden Project, Bodelva, Par, Cornwall PL24 2SG, UK
3
Phytochemistry Unit, Forest Research Centre, Jalan Sepilok, Sepilok, 90715 Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Fungi in Tropical Forest Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1710 KB, uploaded 2 December 2017]   |  

Abstract

As a source of ‘suspended soils’, epiphytes contribute large amounts of organic matter to the canopy of tropical rain forests. Microbes associated with epiphytes are responsible for much of the nutrient cycling taking place in rain forest canopies. However, soils suspended far above the ground in living organisms differ from soil on the forest floor, and traditional predictors of soil microbial community composition and functioning (nutrient availability and the activity of soil organisms) are likely to be less important. We conducted an experiment in the rain forest biome at the Eden Project in the U.K. to explore how biotic and abiotic conditions determine microbial community composition and functioning in a suspended soil. To simulate their natural epiphytic lifestyle, bird’s nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) were placed on a custom-built canopy platform suspended 8 m above the ground. Ammonium nitrate and earthworm treatments were applied to ferns in a factorial design. Extracellular enzyme activity and Phospholipid Fatty Acid (PLFA) profiles were determined at zero, three and six months. We observed no significant differences in either enzyme activity or PLFA profiles between any of the treatments. Instead, we observed decreases in β-glucosidase and N-acetyl-glucosaminidase activity, and an increase in phenol oxidase activity across all treatments and controls over time. An increase in the relative abundance of fungi during the experiment meant that the microbial communities in the Eden Project ferns after six months were comparable with ferns sampled from primary tropical rain forest in Borneo. View Full-Text
Keywords: canopy; epiphyte; fungi; bacteria; earthworm; nitrogen; PLFAs; enzyme; functioning canopy; epiphyte; fungi; bacteria; earthworm; nitrogen; PLFAs; enzyme; functioning
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Donald, J.; Bonnett, S.; Cutler, M.; Majalap, N.; Maxfield, P.; Ellwood, M.D.F. Physical Conditions Regulate the Fungal to Bacterial Ratios of a Tropical Suspended Soil. Forests 2017, 8, 474.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top