Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Asemaninejad, Asma [1], Thorn, Greg [1], Lindo, Zoe [1], Brian, Branfireun [1].

The Impacts of Climate Change on Fungal Communities in Boreal Peatlands.

Peatlands have an important role in global climate change through sequestration of atmospheric CO2. However, global climate change is already affecting a large part of these ecosystems, including both above- and below- ground communities and their functions, such as decomposition. Fungi have a greater biomass than other soil organisms excluding plant roots and play a central role in these communities. As a result, there is concern that altered fungal community function may turn peatlands from carbon sinks to carbon sources, greatly exacerbating the impacts of climate change. In a mesocosm study established in Western's Biotron facility, 100 intact peat cores (each 25 L), complete with above-ground herbaceous and shrubby vegetation, were subjected to varying treatments over 18 months in a factorial design to assess the impacts on communities of peat-inhabiting fungi of altered hydrology, increased temperature and elevated CO2 concentrations that are expected to be associated with global climate change. I assessed the initial and final fungal communities in the top 5 cm of peat, and am measuring changes in fungal diversity and community composition using litterbags over 12 months. At 4, 8, and 12 months, one litter bag was removed from each peat core and destructively sampled for microfauna and DNA extraction. In each experimental treatment fungal communities are being assessed by next-generation sequencing of a portion of ribosomal DNA. At 4 months, fungal community composition under ambient plus 8 °C differs from ambient and ambient plus 4 °C. Fungal communities are also becoming more similar with increasing temperature from ambient to ambient plus 8 °C. Preliminary results suggest that the changes in fungal community composition caused by increased temperature and reduced water table position favor saprotrophic fungi. Better understanding of changes in fungal communities in peatlands is crucial to predict global climate change more accurately.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - Western University, Biological and Geological Sicences, 1151 Richmond St, London, On, N6A 3K7, Canada

climate change
Poor fen.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 35
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: 35013
Abstract ID:173
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright 2000-2015, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved