Carbon flow on belowground food webs assessed by isotope tracers (DFG Research Group FOR 918) BU 941/15-1

FUNLINK: Role and diversity of symbiotic and saprobic fungi in soil food webs

(with Co-PI Prof. François Buscot, Uni Leipzig / UFZ Halle )

FunLink aims to enlighten the role played by true Fungi in transferring plant carbon from aboveground to belowground in the food webs of an agricultural soil. Both main fungal channels that participate will be considered. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonizing roots and extending into the soil represent the mycorrhizal (symbiotic) channel. The saprotrophic (saprobic) channel is comprised of soil fungi that attack complex carbon polymers of the plant litter. Using molecular tools we will characterize fungal communities of both channels. Key players will be pointed out as dominant taxa that colonize at least two compartments of each channel (roots, soil, litter). FunLink is strongly linked to subproject MicC that will quantify the contribution of different microbial groups to the total biomass. A FunLink working package will specifically consider mycelium ingested by invertebrate soil dwellers and hence represent the transfer of plant carbon onto the animal consumers (with FaunWeb).