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Article

Angiosperm symbioses with non-mycorrhizal fungal partners enhance N acquisition from ancient organic matter in a warming maritime Antarctic

Citation
Hill PW, Broughton R, Bougoure J, Havelange W, Newsham KK, Grant H, Murphy DV, Clode P, Ramayah S, Marsden KA, Quilliam RS, Roberts P, Brown C, Read DJ & Deluca TH (2019) Angiosperm symbioses with non-mycorrhizal fungal partners enhance N acquisition from ancient organic matter in a warming maritime Antarctic. Ecology Letters, 22 (12), pp. 2111-2119. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13399

Abstract
In contrast to the situation in plants inhabiting most of the world’s ecosystems, mycorrhizal fungi are usually absent from roots of the only two native vascular plant species of maritime Antarctica, Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. Instead, a range of ascomycete fungi, termed dark septate endophytes (DSEs), frequently colonise the roots of these plant species. We demonstrate that colonisation of Antarctic vascular plants by DSEs facilitates not only the acquisition of organic nitrogen as early protein breakdown products, but also as non-proteinaceous D-amino acids and their short peptides, accumulated in slowly-decomposing organic matter, such as moss peat. Our findings suggest that, in a warming maritime Antarctic, this symbiosis has a key role in accelerating the replacement of formerly dominant moss communities by vascular plants, and in increasing the rate at which ancient carbon stores laid down as moss peat over centuries or millennia are returned to the atmosphere as CO2.

Keywords
carbon cycle; climate change; dark septate endophytes; enantiomers; nitrogen cycle; polar; soil

Notes
Additional co-authors: Richard D Bardgett, David W Hopkins and Davey L Jones

Journal
Ecology Letters: Volume 22, Issue 12

StatusPublished
Author(s)Hill, Paul W; Broughton, Richard; Bougoure, Jeremy; Havelange, William; Newsham, Kevin K; Grant, Helen; Murphy, Daniel V; Clode, Peta; Ramayah, Soshila; Marsden, Karina A; Quilliam, Richard S; Roberts, Paula; Brown, Caley; Read, David J; Deluca, Thomas H
FundersBritish Antarctic Survey, University of Western Australia and Natural Environment Research Council
Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online17/10/2019
Date accepted by journal10/09/2019
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/30321
PublisherWiley
ISSN1461-023X
eISSN1461-0248
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