||Tree diversity and the role of non-host neighbour tree species in reducing fungal pathogen infestation
||Hantsch, L.; Bien, S.; Radatz, S.; Braun, U.; Auge, H.; Bruelheide, H.
||Journal of Ecology
||BZF; UBZ; iDiv
||biodiversity and ecosystem functioning; determinants of plant community diversity and structure; disease dilution effect; fungal pathogen richness and infestation; Kreinitz experiment; local neighbourhood; neighbouring species identity effects; Quercus petraea; Shannon diversity effects; Tilia cordata
|UFZ wide themes
degree to which plant pathogen infestation occurs in a host plant is
expected to be strongly influenced by the level of species diversity
among neighbouring host and non-host plant species. Since pathogen
infestation can negatively affect host plant performance, it can mediate
the effects of local biodiversity on ecosystem functioning.
tested the effects of tree diversity and the proportion of neighbouring
host and non-host species with respect to the foliar fungal pathogens of
Tilia cordata and Quercus petraea in the Kreinitz
tree diversity experiment in Germany. We hypothesized that fungal
pathogen richness increases while infestation decreases with increasing
local tree diversity. In addition, we tested whether fungal pathogen
richness and infestation are dependent on the proportion of host plant
species present or on the proportion of particular non-host neighbouring
- Leaves of the two target species were sampled
across three consecutive years with visible foliar fungal pathogens on
the leaf surface being identified macro- and microscopically. Effects of
diversity among neighbouring trees were analysed: (i) for total fungal
species richness and fungal infestation on host trees and (ii) for
infestation by individual fungal species.
- We detected four and five fungal species on T. cordata and Q. petraea, respectively. High local tree diversity reduced (i) total fungal species richness and infestation of T. cordata and fungal infestation of Q. petraea
and (ii) infestation by three host-specialized fungal pathogen species.
These effects were brought about by local tree diversity and were
independent of host species proportion. In general, host species
proportion had almost no effect on fungal species richness and
infestation. Strong effects associated with the proportion of particular
non-host neighbouring tree species on fungal species richness and
infestation were, however, recorded.
- Synthesis. For the
first time, we experimentally demonstrated that for two common forestry
tree species, foliar fungal pathogen richness and infestation depend on
local biodiversity. Thus, local tree diversity can have positive
impacts on ecosystem functioning in managed forests by decreasing the
level of fungal pathogen infestation.
|Persistent UFZ Identifier
|Hantsch, L., Bien, S., Radatz, S., Braun, U., Auge, H., Bruelheide, H. (2014):
Tree diversity and the role of non-host neighbour tree species in reducing fungal pathogen infestation
J. Ecol. 102 (6), 1673 - 1687