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Harvard Forest REU Symposium Abstract 2021

  • Title: Fungi of the Future: Investigating Dominant Fungal Taxa Throughout Global Change Treatments
  • Author: Jonathan M Carcache (Miami Dade College)
  • Abstract:

    Fungi play an integral role in forest ecosystems. Despite their importance, fungi, and the communities they form are highly influenced by global change factors such as global warming and nitrogen pollution. Studies investigating the impacts of these global change factors are prevalent, however the composition of fungal communities altered across global change factors is understudied. The aim of this study is to utilize previously collected soil fungal sequence datasets to gain a deeper understanding of how fungal communities change with long-term soil warming and simulated nitrogen deposition. My specific objective of this collaborative study is to conduct a meta-analysis that investigates how dominant fungal taxa vary across the global change treatments. Statistical analysis and figures were all produced on R-Studio using the packages “ggplot2” and “phyloseq”. I found that overall fungal community composition at the order level shifts between both studies and treatments but more so between studies. In study 2 (soil warming) there was a noticeable difference in composition, where the abundance of members of the Russulales order increased. Similarly, in study 5 (nitrogen deposition), the abundance of members of the Hypocreales order increased. Understanding the composition of fungal communities across treatments will aid in the prediction of what future microbiomes could look like. Predicting microbiomes can give land managers and conservationists an edge when it comes to battling global change factors.

  • Research Category: Physiological Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Species Interactions; Large Experiments and Permanent Plot Studies; Group Projects; Conservation and Management; Biodiversity Studies