Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.103, No.7, 3215-3224, 2019
Forest gaps influence fungal community assembly in a weeping cypress forest
The forest gap crucially influences forest environments, but its effects on local fungal community assembly are not fully understood. In this study, the fungal community in a weeping cypress forest was investigated as a function of forest gap locations based on forest clearing, using amplicon sequencing of the ITS2 region. The results showed that the fungal community significantly varied with the variations in soil properties related to gap location. Deterministic processes played pivotal roles in fungal community assembly, which was mainly driven by the temperature, moisture, available nitrogen, and microbial carbon in soil. Beta diversity of the fungal community increased from the gap center to the closed canopy. The relative abundances of dominant orders such as Microascales, Sordariales, and Chaetothyriales regularly varied as a function of gap location, and they were potential indicators for different gap locations. Based on network analysis, gap locations caused distinct co-occurrence patterns of fungal communities. This study shed light on the roles of forest gaps in the assembly of local fungal communities and provided additional strategies to manage forest ecosystems.