Consumptionof mycorrhizal and saprophytic fungi by Collembola in grassland soils

TitleConsumptionof mycorrhizal and saprophytic fungi by Collembola in grassland soils
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsJonas, JL, Wilson, GT, White, PM, Joern, A
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Pagination2594 -2602
Accession NumberKNZ001097
KeywordsAndropogon gerardii, Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Collembola, grassland, Natural abundance stable isotopes, Pascopyrum smithii, Saprophytic fungi, δ13C

Although soil-dwelling Collembola can influence plant growth and nutrient cycling, their specific role in soil food webs is poorly understood. Soil-free microcosm studies suggest that Collembola are primarily fungivores where they feed preferentially on saprophytic fungi (SF) over other fungal types. We directly assessed collembolan consumption of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and SF using plant–soil mesocosms and natural abundance stable carbon isotope techniques. Mycorrhizal Andropogon gerardii (C4 grass) seedlings were placed in pots containing Collembola and soil from a C3 plant dominated site, while mycorrhizal Pascopyrum smithii (C3 grass) seedlings were placed in pots with Collembola and soil collected at a C4 plant dominated site. After 6 weeks, collembolans assimilated carbon derived from C3 and C4 sources in both A. gerardii and P. smithii treatments. Comparing Collembola isotope values in AMF vs. AMF-suppressed treatments, our data show that both AMF and SF were consumed in these experimental soil environments.