Global mycorrhizal plant distribution linked to terrestrial carbon stocks

Soudzilovskaia, N.A., van Bodegom, P.M., Terrer Moreno, C., van’t Zelfde, M., McCallum, I. ORCID:, McCormack, M., Fisher, J.B., Brundrett, M., et al. (2019). Global mycorrhizal plant distribution linked to terrestrial carbon stocks. Nature Communications 10 e5077. 10.1038/s41467-019-13019-2.

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Vegetation impacts on ecosystem functioning are mediated by mycorrhiza, a plant-fungal association formed by most plant species. Ecosystems dominated by distinct mycorrhizal types differ strongly in their biogeochemistry. Quantitative analyses of mycorrhizal impacts on ecosystem functioning are hindered by the absence of information on mycorrhizal distribution. We present the first global high-resolution maps of vegetation biomass distribution among main types of mycorrhizal associations. Arbuscular, ecto-, ericoid and non-mycorrhizal vegetation store 241±15, 100±17, 7±1.8 and 29 ± 5.5 GT carbon in aboveground biomass, respectively. Soil carbon stocks in both topsoil and subsoil are positively related to the biomass fraction of ectomycorrhizal plants in the community, though the strength of this relationship varies across biomes. We show that human-induced transformations of Earth’s ecosystems have reduced ectomycorrhizal vegetation, with potential knock-on effects on terrestrial carbon stocks. Our work provides a benchmark for spatially explicit global quantitative assessments of mycorrhizal impacts on ecosystem functioning and biogeochemical cycles.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2019 09:56
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:32

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