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Fungal Biol. 2010 Jul;114(7):580-4. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2010.04.008. Epub 2010 Apr 24.

Afforestation alters community structure of soil fungi.

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Soil Biology Group, School of Earth and Environment M087, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.


Relatively little is known about the effect of afforestation on soil fungal communities. This study demonstrated that afforestation altered fungal community structure and that changes were correlated to pools of soil C. Pasture at three locations on the same soil type was afforested with Eucalyptus globulus or Pinus pinaster. The structure of fungal communities under the three land uses was measured after 13y using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Afforestation significantly altered the structure of fungal communities. The effect of location on the structure of fungal communities was limited to pasture soils; although these contained the same plant species, the relative composition of each species varied between locations. Differences in the structure of fungal communities between pasture, E. globulus and P. pinaster were significantly correlated with changes in the amount of total organic C and microbial biomass-C in soil. Afforestation of patches of agricultural land may contribute to conserving soil fungi in agricultural landscapes by supporting fungal communities with different composition to agricultural soils.

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