Co-occurring orchid species associated with different low-abundance mycorrhizal fungi from the soil in a high-diversity conservation area in Denmark

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


  • Fulltext

    Forlagets udgivne version, 3,82 MB, PDF-dokument

Plant–fungal interactions are ubiquitous across ecosystems and contribute significantly to plant ecology and evolution. All orchids form obligate symbiotic relationships with specific fungi for germination and early growth, and the distribution of terrestrial orchid species has been linked to occurrence and abundance of specific orchid mycorrhizal fungi (OMF) in the soil. The availability of OMF can therefore be a habitat requirement that is relevant to consider when establishing management and conservation strategies for threatened orchid species, but knowledge on the spatial distribution of OMF in soil is limited. We here studied the mycorrhizal associations of three terrestrial orchid species (Anacamptis pyramidalis, Orchis purpurea and Platanthera chlorantha) found in a local orchid diversity hotspot in eastern Denmark, and investigated the abundance of the identified mycorrhizal fungi in the surrounding soil. We applied ITS metabarcoding to samples of orchid roots, rhizosphere soil and bulk soil collected at three localities, supplemented with standard barcoding of root samples with OMF specific primers, and detected 22 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) putatively identified as OMF. The three orchid species displayed different patterns of OMF associations, supporting the theory that association with specific fungi constitutes part of an orchid's ecological niche allowing co-occurrence of many species in orchid-rich habitats. The identified mycorrhizal partners in the basidiomycete families Tulasnellaceae and Ceratobasidiaceae (Cantharallales) were detected in low abundance in rhizosphere soil, and appeared almost absent from bulk soil at the localities. This finding highlights our limited knowledge of the ecology and trophic mode of OMF outside orchid tissues, as well as challenges in the detection of specific OMF with standard methods. Potential implications for management and conservation strategies are discussed.

TidsskriftEcology and Evolution
Udgave nummer2
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2024

Bibliografisk note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

ID: 385021872