Special Issue "Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments"

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Francesca Scandellari

Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, piazza Università, 1 - Universitätsplatz 1 I-39100 Bolzano - Bozen, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: mycorrhizal fungi; agroecosystems; nitrogen cycle; carbon cycle; isotopes; tree ecophysiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mycorrhizal fungi play a role in many biogeochemical cycles that can be relevant to seek a sustainable agricultural management. This is of interest, especially in those areas of the world particularly sensitive to environmental disruption due to inadequate soil management and to climate change. Mountain areas include many of these sensitive areas, and therefore they require special care to avoid the excessive exploitation of resources, such as water and biodiversity, and to limit environmental pollution due to, for example, nitrogen leaching into waters. This topic is of particular importance because of the many people relying on mountain resources both directly, through crop production and animal farming, and indirectly, for example as consumers of the downstream water. The question we will address is if and how improving and protecting mycorrhizal symbiosis can sustain more environmental friendly agricultural and agroforestry practices and support the protection of sensitive areas. Other aspects that can be addressed are whether (1) mycorrhizal fungi can enhance water and nutrient use efficiency of plants in sensitive environments, hence saving resources and decreasing pollution risks; (2) mycorrhizal fungi can favor the growth of food crops in areas traditionally unsuitable or little suitable to agriculture, hence enhancing the agricultural and agroforestry potential of these areas; and (3) mycorrhizal fungi can serve as proxy of the impact of climate change on sensitive environments, for example in relation to the fluctuations of biodiversity. This special issue of JoF therefore deals with aspects related to the possible contribution of mycorrhizal fungi to relieve environmental burdens such as nitrogen leaching, water shortage and diffusion of plant pests. This special issue should focus specifically on mountain environments although other types of sensitive environments might be taken into account if relevant.

Prof. Dr. Francesca Scandellari
Guest Editor

Prof. Dr. Francesca Scandellari

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Fungi is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mycorrhizal fungi
  • mountain areas
  • sensitive environments
  • agroforestry and agriculture
  • sustainability
  • plant nutrition
  • water resources protection and exploitation
  • nitrogen
  • soil erosion and stability
  • ecosystem biodiversity

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Special Issue: Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 168-172; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020168
Received: 27 July 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 10 August 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The scope of this special issue is to understand whether and how mycorrhizal symbiosis can be included as an agriculture and agroforestry tool that promotes more environmentally friendly practices, and whether it promotes the protection of sensitive areas. Three papers are included in
[...] Read more.
The scope of this special issue is to understand whether and how mycorrhizal symbiosis can be included as an agriculture and agroforestry tool that promotes more environmentally friendly practices, and whether it promotes the protection of sensitive areas. Three papers are included in this special issue, each dealing with a different sensitive environment. These papers present fundamental aspects that should be taken into account when planning or reporting studies related to mycorrhizal fungi in sensitive environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities and Enzymatic Activities Vary across an Ecotone between a Forest and Field
J. Fungi 2015, 1(2), 185-210; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1020185
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 28 August 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Extracellular enzymes degrade macromolecules into soluble substrates and are important for nutrient cycling in soils, where microorganisms, such as ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, produce these enzymes to obtain nutrients. Ecotones between forests and fields represent intriguing arenas for examining the effect of the environment
[...] Read more.
Extracellular enzymes degrade macromolecules into soluble substrates and are important for nutrient cycling in soils, where microorganisms, such as ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, produce these enzymes to obtain nutrients. Ecotones between forests and fields represent intriguing arenas for examining the effect of the environment on ECM community structure and enzyme activity because tree maturity, ECM composition, and environmental variables may all be changing simultaneously. We studied the composition and enzymatic activity of ECM associated with loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) across an ecotone between a forest where P. taeda is established and an old field where P. taeda saplings had been growing for <5 years. ECM community and environmental characteristics influenced enzyme activity in the field, indicating that controls on enzyme activity may be intricately linked to the ECM community, but this was not true in the forest. Members of the Russulaceae were associated with increased phenol oxidase activity and decreased peroxidase activity in the field. Members of the Atheliaceae were particularly susceptible to changes in their abiotic environment, but this did not mediate differences in enzyme activity. These results emphasize the complex nature of factors that dictate the distribution of ECM and activity of their enzymes across a habitat boundary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments)
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Open AccessArticle Analyses of Sporocarps, Morphotyped Ectomycorrhizae, Environmental ITS and LSU Sequences Identify Common Genera that Occur at a Periglacial Site
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 76-93; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1010076
Received: 28 February 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 25 May 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1044 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Periglacial substrates exposed by retreating glaciers represent extreme and sensitive environments defined by a variety of abiotic stressors that challenge organismal establishment and survival. The simple communities often residing at these sites enable their analyses in depth. We utilized existing data and mined
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Periglacial substrates exposed by retreating glaciers represent extreme and sensitive environments defined by a variety of abiotic stressors that challenge organismal establishment and survival. The simple communities often residing at these sites enable their analyses in depth. We utilized existing data and mined published sporocarp, morphotyped ectomycorrhizae (ECM), as well as environmental sequence data of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) regions of the ribosomal RNA gene to identify taxa that occur at a glacier forefront in the North Cascades Mountains in Washington State in the USA. The discrete data types consistently identified several common and widely distributed genera, perhaps best exemplified by Inocybe and Laccaria. Although we expected low diversity and richness, our environmental sequence data included 37 ITS and 26 LSU operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that likely form ECM. While environmental surveys of metabarcode markers detected large numbers of targeted ECM taxa, both the fruiting body and the morphotype datasets included genera that were undetected in either of the metabarcode datasets. These included hypogeous (Hymenogaster) and epigeous (Lactarius) taxa, some of which may produce large sporocarps but may possess small and/or spatially patchy genets. We highlight the importance of combining various data types to provide a comprehensive view of a fungal community, even in an environment assumed to host communities of low species richness and diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments)
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Open AccessArticle Host-Specialist Dominated Ectomycorrhizal Communities of Pinus cembra are not Affected by Temperature Manipulation
J. Fungi 2015, 1(1), 55-75; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof1010055
Received: 6 March 2015 / Revised: 20 April 2015 / Accepted: 23 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ectomycorrhizae (EM) are important for the survival of seedlings and trees, but how they will react to global warming or changes in soil fertility is still in question. We tested the effect of soil temperature manipulation and nitrogen fertilization on EM communities in
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Ectomycorrhizae (EM) are important for the survival of seedlings and trees, but how they will react to global warming or changes in soil fertility is still in question. We tested the effect of soil temperature manipulation and nitrogen fertilization on EM communities in a high-altitude Pinus cembra afforestation. The trees had been inoculated in the 1960s in a nursery with a mixture of Suillus placidus, S. plorans and S. sibircus. Sampling was performed during the third year of temperature manipulation in June and October 2013. Root tips were counted, sorted into morphotypes, and sequenced. Fungal biomass was measured as ergosterol and hyphal length. The EM potential of the soil was assessed with internal transcribed spacers (ITS) clone libraries from in-growth mesh bags (MB). Temperature manipulation of ± 1 °C had no effect on the EM community. A total of 33 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified, 20 from the roots, 13 from MB. The inoculated Suillus spp. colonized 82% of the root tips, thus demonstrating that the inoculation was sustainable. Nitrogen fertilization had no impact on the EM community, but promoted depletion in soil organic matter, and caused a reduction in soil fungal biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sensitive Environments)
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