Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Plant-soil feedbacks differ in intact and tornado-damaged areas of the southern Appalachian mountains, USA

Abstract

Aims

Plant-soil feedbacks (PSF) greatly influence forest community structure and diversity. However, it remains unknown how feedbacks change after disturbances. Biotic and abiotic changes reduce soil microbial diversity after a severe disturbance. These post-disturbance changes may create neutral PSF. We examine a) differences in performance of three seedlings of southern Appalachian tree species in same-species and different-species soil and b) whether the relationship differs between intact forest and wind-damaged patches, as well as c) test mycorrhizal colonization rate as a potential mechanism.

Methods

In April 2011, a severe (EF-3) tornado damaged several thousand hectares of mature secondary mixed pine-oak forest in northeast Georgia, USA. In 2012, we collected soil from the base of mature trees in intact forest and in tornado-damaged patches. Three tree species seedlings were grown in same-species and different-species soil for three months. Height, biomass, and mycorrhizal colonization were compared.

Results

Results suggest that PSF are neutral to negative in intact forest. For Nyssa sylvatica Marsh., PSF were less negative in wind-damaged soils. Quercus alba L. exhibited the opposite response. Pinus strobus L. PSF did not differ with wind damage.

Conclusions

We found that PSF may be changed by severe wind disturbance, but the nature of the changes depends upon species identity. Multiple soil mechanisms aside from mycorrhizal colonization likely drive disturbance-related PSF changes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig 1
Fig 2
Fig 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Bever JD, Westover KM, Antonovics J (1997) Incorporating the soil community into plant population dynamics: the utility of the feedback approach. J Ecol 561-573

  2. Brooks HE (2013) Severe thunderstorms and climate change. Atmos Res 123:129–138. doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2012.04.002

  3. Burns RM, Honkala BH (1990) Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Agriculture Handbook 654:877, Hardwoods

  4. Comita LS, Muller-Landau HC, Aguilar S, Hubbell SP (2010) Asymmetric density dependence shapes species abundances in a tropical tree community. Science 329:330–332

  5. Connell JH (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science 199:1302–1310

  6. Corkidi L, Rowland DL, Johnson NC, Allen EB (2002) Nitrogen fertilization alters the functioning of arbuscular mycorrhizas at two semiarid grasslands. Plant Soil 240:299–310

  7. Cowden CC, Peterson CJ (2013) Annual and seasonal dynamics of ectomycorrhizal fungi colonizing white pine (Pinus strobus) seedlings following catastrophic windthrow in northern Georgia, USA. Can J For Res 43:215–223

  8. De Deyn G, Raaijmakers C, Van der Putten W (2004) Plant community development is affected by nutrients and soil biota. J Ecol 92:824–834

  9. Diamond HJ, Karl TR, Palecki MA, Baker CB, Bell JE, Leeper RD, Easterling DR, Lawrimore JH, Meyers TP, Helfert MR, Goodge G, Thorne PW (2013) U.S. climate reference network after one decade of operations: status and assessment. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 94:489–498

  10. Diffenbaugh NS, Scherer M, Trapp RJ (2013) Robust increases in severe thunderstorm environments in response to greenhouse forcing. Proc Natl Acad Sci 110:16361–16366

  11. Egli S, Peter M, Falcato S (2002) Dynamics of ectomycorrhizal fungi after windthrow. For Snow Landsc Res 77:81–88

  12. Ehrenfeld JG, Ravit B, Elgersma K (2005) Feedback in the plant-soil system. Annu Rev Environ Resour 30:75–115

  13. Elsner JB, Elsner SC, Jagger TH (2014) The increasing efficiency of tornado days in the United States. Climate Dynamics 45(3):651–659

  14. Fox J, Weisberg S (2011) An {R} companion to applied regression, Second edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks CA

  15. Johnson N, Graham JH, Smith F (1997) Functioning of mycorrhizal associations along the mutualism–parasitism continuum*. New Phytol 135:575–585

  16. Johnson NC, Wilson GW, Bowker MA, Wilson JA, Miller RM (2010) Resource limitation is a driver of local adaptation in mycorrhizal symbioses. Proc Natl Acad Sci 107:2093–2098

  17. Johnson DJ, Beaulieu WT, Bever JD, Clay K (2012) Conspecific negative density dependence and forest diversity. Science 336:904–907

  18. Jones MD, Durall DM, Cairney JW (2003) Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in young forest stands regenerating after clearcut logging. New Phytol 157:399–422

  19. Kardol P, Martijn Bezemer T, Van Der Putten WH (2006) Temporal variation in plant–soil feedback controls succession. Ecol Lett 9:1080–1088

  20. Kardol P, Deyn GB, Laliberte E, Mariotte P, Hawkes CV (2013) Biotic plant–soil feedbacks across temporal scales. J Ecol 101:309–315

  21. Kennedy PG, Peay KG (2007) Different soil moisture conditions change the outcome of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis between rhizopogon species and pinus muricata. Plant Soil 291:155–165

  22. Klironomos JN (2002) Feedback with soil biota contributes to plant rarity and invasiveness in communities. Nature 417:67–70

  23. Klironomos JN (2003) Variation in plant response to native and exotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Ecology 84:2292–2301

  24. Knutson TR, Tuleya RE (2004) Impact of CO 2-induced warming on simulated hurricane intensity and precipitation: sensitivity to the choice of climate model and convective parameterization. J Clim 17:3477–3495

  25. Knutson TR et al. (2010) Tropical cyclones and climate change. Nat Geosci 3:157–163

  26. Kulmatiski A, Kardol P (2008) Getting plant—soil feedbacks out of the greenhouse: experimental and conceptual approaches. In:  Progress in botany. Springer, pp 449–472

  27. Mangan SA, Schnitzer SA, Herre EA, Mack KM, Valencia MC, Sanchez EI, Bever JD (2010) Negative plant-soil feedback predicts tree-species relative abundance in a tropical forest. Nature 466:752–755

  28. Manning P, Morrison SA, Bonkowski M, Bardgett RD (2008) Nitrogen enrichment modifies plant community structure via changes to plant–soil feedback. Oecologia 157:661–673. doi:10.1007/s00442-008-1104-0

  29. McCarthy-Neumann S, Ibáñez I (2013) Plant-soil feedback links negative distance dependence and light gradient partitioning during seedling establishment. Ecology 94:780–786

  30. Millar CI, Stephenson NL (2015) Temperate forest health in an era of emerging megadisturbance. Science 349:823–826

  31. Mills KE, Bever JD (1998) Maintenance of diversity within plant communities: soil pathogens as agents of negative feedback. Ecology 79:1595–1601

  32. Mitchell JF, Lowe J, Wood RA, Vellinga M (2006) Extreme events due to human-induced climate change. Philos Trans R Soc A Math Phys Eng Sci 364:2117–2133

  33. NOAA (2011) Service assessment: the historic tornadoes of April, 2011. Silver Spring, Maryland

  34. Packer A, Clay K (2003) Soil pathogens and prunus serotina seedling and sapling growth near conspecific trees. Ecology 84:108–119

  35. Pan Y et al. (2011) A large and persistent carbon sink in the world’s forests. Science 333:988–993

  36. Peay KG, Garbelotto M, Bruns TD (2009) Spore heat resistance plays an important role in disturbance-mediated assemblage shift of ectomycorrhizal fungi colonizing pinus muricata seedlings. J Ecol 97:537–547

  37. Peterson C, Cannon J, Godfrey C (2016) First steps toward defining the wind disturbance regime in central hardwoods forests. In: Greenberg CH, Collins BS (eds) Natural disturbances and historic range of variation, vol 32. Managing forest ecosystems. Springer International Publishing, p 89–122

  38. Putten WH et al. (2013) Plant–soil feedbacks: the past, the present and future challenges. J Ecol 101:265–276

  39. Reinhart KO, Royo AA, Kageyama SA, Clay K (2010) Canopy gaps decrease microbial densities and disease risk for a shade-intolerant tree species. Acta Oecol 36:530–536

  40. Reinhart KO, Johnson D, Clay K (2012) Effects of trees on their recruits in the southern Appalachians, USA. For Ecol Manag 263:268–274

  41. Reynolds HL, Packer A, Bever JD, Clay K (2003) Grassroots ecology: plant-microbe-soil interactions as drivers of plant community structure and dynamics. Ecology 84:2281–2291

  42. Rincón A, Pueyo JJ (2010) Effect of fire severity and site slope on diversity and structure of the ectomycorrhizal fungal community associated with post-fire regenerated Pinus pinaster ait. Seedlings. For Ecol Manag 260:361–369

  43. Ritter E, Dalsgaard L, Einhorn KS (2005) Light, temperature and soil moisture regimes following gap formation in a semi-natural beech-dominated forest in Denmark. For Ecol Manag 206:15–33

  44. Solomon S (2007) Climate change 2007-the physical science basis: working group I contribution to the fourth assessment report of the IPCC vol 4. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  45. Team RC (2014) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, 2014. <http://www.R-project.org>

  46. Terborgh J (2012) Enemies maintain hyperdiverse tropical forests. Am Nat 179:303–314

  47. Treseder KK (2004) A meta-analysis of mycorrhizal responses to nitrogen, phosphorus, and atmospheric CO2 in field studies. New Phytol 164:347–355

  48. Van Der Heijden MG, Bardgett RD, Van Straalen NM (2008) The unseen majority: soil microbes as drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecol Lett 11:296–310

  49. Van der Putten W, Van Dijk C, Peters B (1993) Plant-specific soil-borne diseases contribute to succession in foredune vegetation. Nature 362:53–56

  50. Vitousek PM, Melillo JM (1979) Nitrate losses from disturbed forests: patterns and mechanisms. For Sci 25:605–619

  51. Vogelsang KM, Reynolds HL, Bever JD (2006) Mycorrhizal fungal identity and richness determine the diversity and productivity of a tallgrass prairie system. New Phytol 172:554–562

  52. White PS, Jentsch A (2001) The search for generality in studies of disturbance and ecosystem dynamics. Progress in botany. Springer, In, pp. 399–450

  53. Xi W, Peet RK (2011) The complexity of catastrophic wind impacts on temperate forests. In:  Recent hurricane research: Climate, dynamics, and societal impacts. INTECH Open Access Publisher, p 503–534

Download references

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to three anonymous reviewers, the greenhouse staff at the University of Georgia, and the Peterson Lab at the University of Georgia. Fieldwork and plot setup was greatly assisted by Luke Snyder, and greenhouse work was aided by Mike Boyd and Kevin Tarner. Other assistance provided by Sophia Kim, Jeff Cannon, and the Plant-Soil Reading group at UGA. This project was funded by National Science Foundation RAPID grants AGS-1141926 and DEB-1143511, as well as the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Author information

Correspondence to Uma J. Nagendra.

Additional information

Responsible Editor: Jeff R. Powell.

Electronic supplementary material

Table S1

(DOCX 20 kb)

Table S2

(DOCX 14 kb)

Table S3

(DOCX 13 kb)

Fig. S1

(DOCX 74 kb)

Fig. S2

(DOCX 71 kb)

Fig. S3

(DOCX 78 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Nagendra, U.J., Peterson, C.J. Plant-soil feedbacks differ in intact and tornado-damaged areas of the southern Appalachian mountains, USA. Plant Soil 402, 103–116 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-015-2766-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Plant-soil feedbacks
  • Disturbance
  • Temperate forest
  • Tornado
  • White oak
  • Black gum
  • White pine