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Symbiosis constraints: Strong mycobiont control limits nutrient response in lichens
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2017 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 7, no 18, p. 7420-7433Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Symbioses such as lichens are potentially threatened by drastic environmental changes. We used the lichen Peltigera aphthosaa symbiosis between a fungus (mycobiont), a green alga (Coccomyxa sp.), and N-2-fixing cyanobacteria (Nostoc sp.)as a model organism to assess the effects of environmental perturbations in nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P). Growth, carbon (C) and N stable isotopes, CNP concentrations, and specific markers were analyzed in whole thalli and the partners after 4months of daily nutrient additions in the field. Thallus N was 40% higher in N-fertilized thalli, amino acid concentrations were twice as high, while fungal chitin but not ergosterol was lower. Nitrogen also resulted in a thicker algal layer and density, and a higher C-13 abundance in all three partners. Photosynthesis was not affected by either N or P. Thallus growth increased with light dose independent of fertilization regime. We conclude that faster algal growth compared to fungal lead to increased competition for light and CO2 among the Coccomyxa cells, and for C between alga and fungus, resulting in neither photosynthesis nor thallus growth responded to N fertilization. This suggests that the symbiotic lifestyle of lichens may prevent them from utilizing nutrient abundance to increase C assimilation and growth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2017. Vol. 7, no 18, p. 7420-7433
Keyword [en]
CN stable isotopes, lichen, nitrogen, Peltigera aphthosa (L, ) Willd, phosphorus, photosynthesis, source allocation, symbiosis
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140474DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3257ISI: 000411341800023PubMedID: 28944027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-140474DiVA, id: diva2:1152506
Available from: 2017-10-25 Created: 2017-10-25 Last updated: 2018-02-05Bibliographically approved

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