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Forests 2017, 8(9), 316; doi:10.3390/f8090316

Changes of Scots Pine Phyllosphere and Soil Fungal Communities during Outbreaks of Defoliating Insects

1
Soil Science of Temperate and Boreal Ecosystems, Georg-August University of Goettingen, Goettingen 37077, Germany
2
Molecular Phytopathology and Mycotoxin Research, Georg-August University of Goettingen, Goettingen 37077, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract

Outbreaks of forest pests increase with climate change, and thereby may affect microbial communities and ecosystem functioning. We investigated the structure of phyllosphere and soil microbial communities during defoliation by the nun moth (Lymantria monacha L.) (80% defoliation) and the pine tree lappet (Dendrolimus pini L.) (50% defoliation) in Scots pine forests (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Germany. Ribosomal RNA genes of fungi and bacteria were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), separated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and subsequently sequenced for taxonomic assignments. Defoliation by both pests changed the structure of the dominant fungal (but not bacterial) taxa of the phyllosphere and the soil. The highly abundant ectomycorrhizal fungal taxon (Russula sp.) in soils declined, which may be attributed to insufficient carbohydrate supply by the host trees and increased root mortality. In contrast, potentially pathogenic fungal taxa in the phyllosphere increased during pest outbreaks. Our results suggest that defoliation of pines by insect pest, change the structure of fungal communities, and thereby indirectly may be contributing to aggravation of tree health. View Full-Text
Keywords: insect outbreaks; Scots pine; phyllosphere; soil; microbial community; PCR-DGGE insect outbreaks; Scots pine; phyllosphere; soil; microbial community; PCR-DGGE
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MDPI and ACS Style

Beule, L.; Grüning, M.M.; Karlovsky, P.; l-M-Arnold, A. Changes of Scots Pine Phyllosphere and Soil Fungal Communities during Outbreaks of Defoliating Insects. Forests 2017, 8, 316.

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