, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 267–280 | Cite as

Comparison of root-associated communities of native and non-native ectomycorrhizal hosts in an urban landscape

  • K. Lothamer
  • S. P. Brown
  • J. D. Mattox
  • A. JumpponenEmail author
Original Paper


Non-native tree species are often used as ornamentals in urban landscapes. However, their root-associated fungal communities remain yet to be examined in detail. Here, we compared richness, diversity and community composition of ectomycorrhizosphere fungi in general and ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungi in particular between a non-native Pinus nigra and a native Quercus macrocarpa across a growing season in urban parks using 454-pyrosequencing. Our data show that, while the ectomycorrhizosphere community richness and diversity did not differ between the two host, the EcM communities associated with the native host were often more species rich and included more exclusive members than those of the non-native hosts. In contrast, the ectomycorrhizosphere communities of the two hosts were compositionally clearly distinct in nonmetric multidimensional ordination analyses, whereas the EcM communities were only marginally so. Taken together, our data suggest EcM communities with broad host compatibilities and with a limited numbers of taxa with preference to the non-native host. Furthermore, many common fungi in the non-native Pinus were not EcM taxa, suggesting that the fungal communities of the non-native host may be enriched in non-mycorrhizal fungi at the cost of the EcM taxa. Finally, while our colonization estimates did not suggest a shortage in EcM inoculum for either host in urban parks, the differences in the fungi associated with the two hosts emphasize the importance of using native hosts in urban environments as a tool to conserve endemic fungal diversity and richness in man-made systems.


Inoculum load Ornamental trees Pinus Quercus Urbanization 



We are grateful to the city of Manhattan for permitted sampling within the city limits and Kansas State University for allowing sampling on campus. Kale Lothamer was supported by Undergraduate Research Mentoring (URM) in Ecological Genomics program (NSF Grant # 1041199). Shawn Brown was supported by GAANN (Graduate Awards in Areas of National Need) from Department of Education and GK-12 (NSF DGE-0841414, PI Ferguson) awards. This is Kansas Agricultural Experimental Station publication number 14-162-J.

Supplementary material

572_2013_539_MOESM1_ESM.txt (2 kb)
Supplemental Table S1 Primer and dna-tag sequences used for sample specific PCR and 454-sequencing. (TXT 1 kb)
572_2013_539_MOESM2_ESM.txt (6 kb)
Supplemental Table S2 Putative assignments to ecological roles of the 378 genera detected in the 36 ectomycorrhosphere samples. AM – Arbuscular Mycorrhiza; ECM – EctoMycorrhizal; ENT – ENTomopahtogen; PAR – PARastitic, PAT – PAThogenic; SAP – SAProbic; UNK – UNKnown. (TXT 6 kb)
572_2013_539_MOESM3_ESM.txt (21 kb)
Supplemental Table S3 Taxon assignments of 188 OTUs that occurred more than once in the entire dataset. K_Sup, P_Sup, C_Sup, O_Sup, F_Sup, G_Sup refer to Ribosomal Database Project’s naïve Bayesian classifier bootstrap support for Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family and Genus, respectively. Ecology refers to assignments using list in Supplemental Table S2. Last two columns list total counts of sequences assigned to each OTU for Quercus macrocarpa and Pinus nigra. (TXT 21 kb)
572_2013_539_MOESM4_ESM.txt (1 kb)
Supplemental Table S4 Mean (± 1 standard deviation) root and ectomycorrhizal tip densities, EcM colonization, qPCR derived inoculum load (ITS1 copy number), Good’s coverage, observed richness (SObs), Simpson’s diversity complement (1-D), Shannon’s diversity, extrapolated richness estimate (Chao I), and evenness as estimated by Simpson’s equitability (ED) for all ectomycorrhizosphere inhabiting fungi. Note that only the root and ectomycorrhizal tip densities differ in the second sampling in August, other comparisons of the two hosts at each sampling time (one way ANOVA) are non-significant (see Figs 1-2). Compare these ectomycorrhizosphere analyses to those for ectomycorrhizal fungi only (Supplemental Table S5). (TXT 1 kb)
572_2013_539_MOESM5_ESM.txt (1 kb)
Supplemental Table S5 Mean (± 1 standard deviation) Good’s coverage, observed richness (SObs), Simpson’s diversity complement (1-D), Shannon’s diversity, extrapolated richness estimate (Chao I), and evenness as estimated by Simpson’s equitability (ED) for all ectomycorrhizal fungi. Note that the two hosts did not differ in repeated measures ANOVA. In contrast, many richness and diversity estimators differed in early sampling in June and marginally so in the late sampling in October (see Fig. 3). (TXT 0 kb)
572_2013_539_MOESM6_ESM.txt (5 kb)
Supplemental Table S6 Frequencies (mean ± standard deviation) of the 43 most abundant OTUs analyzed for OTU-level responses in June, August, and October 2011. (TXT 5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Lothamer
    • 1
  • S. P. Brown
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. D. Mattox
    • 3
  • A. Jumpponen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of BiologyKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Ecological Genomics InstituteKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  3. 3.City of ManhattanManhattanUSA

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