Navigation Links
Soil-borne pathogens drive tree diversity in forests, study shows
Date:6/25/2010

MILWAUKEE What determines plant diversity in a forest? It's a question even Charles Darwin wanted to unravel. But most research into forest diversity demonstrates only patterns of species survival and abundance rather than the reason for them until now.

A team of researchers led by biologists at the University of WisconsinMilwaukee (UWM) has shown that soil-borne pathogens are one important mechanism that can maintain species diversity and explain patterns of tree abundance in a forest.

The paper, "Negative plant-soil feedbacks predict tree-species relative abundance in a tropical forest," is published today in the journal Nature. The lead authors are Scott Mangan, a UWM postdoctoral research associate, and Stefan Schnitzer, UWM associate professor of biological sciences. Other authors include Edward A. Herre and Evelyn I. Sanchez of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Keenan M.L. Mack and James D. Bever of Indiana University, and Mariana C. Valencia of the University of IllinoisChicago.

In a self-limiting process called "negative feedback," scientists have observed that the farther from the parent tree a seed falls, the better it fares. Negative feedbacks occur when juveniles growing near an adult of the same species are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of enemies that accumulate in the soil near the adult tree.

In both greenhouse and field experiments, the researchers found clues that tree species differ in their susceptibilities to enemies found in the soil, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.

The research reinforces the conclusion that certain tree species are abundant in forests because they are less susceptible to pathogens in the soil than rarer tree species, says Mangan. "Strong negative feedbacks with soil-borne pathogens prevent rare tree species from becoming abundant."

The study has shown that more abundant tree species exhibit the weakest negative feedbacks the opposite of what the team expected, says Schnitzer. And when the team scaled up the empirical data using simulation models they created, they found the same relationship between negative feedbacks and abundance.

The next step for the research team is to isolate the exact pathogens that are so powerful against each species. Using a genomics approach, they will examine how soil varies in the plant populations.

Schnitzer emphasizes that the work describes what could be one of many mechanisms that determine species abundance in forests. "We don't claim that because we found evidence of one mechanism, that there aren't others that also could be at work, but we know that this one is probably very important."


'/>"/>

Contact: Stefan Schnitzer
schnite@uwm.edu
01-150-765-057-510
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Neiker-Tecnalia underlines the need to maintain programs for monitoring pathogens in wildlife
2. Genomes of citrus canker pathogens decoded
3. New technology enables machines to detect microscopic pathogens in water
4. Barrier in mosquito midgut protects invading pathogens
5. Smithsonian scientists find the frog legs trade may facilitate spread of pathogens
6. Daily bathroom showers may deliver face full of pathogens, says CU-Boulder study
7. Designing probiotics that ambush gut pathogens
8. Flexible neck in cell-receptor DC-SIGN targets more pathogens
9. UGA licenses invention that kills food-borne pathogens in minutes
10. Rapid test for pathogens developed by K-State researchers
11. New UGA invention effectively kills foodborne pathogens in minutes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in hospitals ... medical screening and diagnostic applications, such as ... that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring without ... being bolstered through new opportunities offered by ... coupled with wireless connectivity and low power ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... retinopathy market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes US-based Intelligent ... America Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product ... provider in North America , ... in the rapidly growing diabetic retinopathy market. The ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... Ohio , Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, ... based in West Chester, Ohio ... award winning service staff, based in Austin, ... capacity and ability to provide modifications, installations and technical ... Dovalina , CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... N.C. , Feb. 8, 2016 Novan, Inc. today ... Chairman of the Board of Directors of Novan. In addition, ... North Carolina . --> ... Company also announced that it received a total of $32.8 million ... 2015 from its private investor network originating throughout the Research Triangle ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  BioElectronics Corporation ... medical devices, announced today that it is responding ... proceedings from the Securities and Exchange Commission posted ... Staelin , Chairman of the Board of BioElectronics ... of Business Administration at The Fuqua School of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... range of loose, bulk foods at various stages of the production process. Despite ... to inspect large bulk products post packaging such as sacks of dry powders. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Inc. (NYSE MKT: NNVC) (the "Company"), a nanomedicine company developing anti-viral ... will present information about the company,s programs at the BIOCEO conference ... York City . --> --> ... EST. Registered attendees can request a one on one meeting through ... --> New York City . ...
Breaking Biology Technology: