Fungal communities decline with urbanization : more in air than in soil
Abrego, N., Crosier, B., Somervuo, P., Ivanova, N., Abrahamyan, A., Abdi, A., Hämäläinen, K., Junninen, K., Maunula, M., Purhonen, J., & Ovaskainen, O. (2020). Fungal communities decline with urbanization : more in air than in soil. ISME Journal, 14(11), 2806-2815. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-020-0732-1
Published inISME Journal
DisciplineResurssiviisausyhteisöEkologia ja evoluutiobiologiaSchool of Resource WisdomEcology and Evolutionary Biology
© The Author(s) 2020.
Increasing evidence suggests that degradation of biodiversity in human populated areas is a threat for the ecosystem processes that are relevant for human well-being. Fungi are a megadiverse kingdom that plays a key role in ecosystem processes and affects human well-being. How urbanization influences fungi has remained poorly understood, partially due to the methodological difficulties in comprehensively surveying fungi. Here we show that both aerial and soil fungal communities are greatly poorer in urban than in natural areas. Strikingly, a fivefold reduction in fungal DNA abundance took place in both air and soil samples already at 1 km scale when crossing the edge from natural to urban habitats. Furthermore, in the air, fungal diversity decreased with urbanization even more than in the soil. This result is counterintuitive as fungal spores are known to disperse over large distances. A large proportion of the fungi detectable in the air are specialized to natural habitats, whereas soil fungal communities comprise a large proportion of habitat generalists. The sensitivity of the aerial fungal community to anthropogenic disturbance makes this method a reliable and efficient bioindicator of ecosystem health in urban areas. ...
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Publication in research information system
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Additional information about fundingThis work was funded by Academy of Finland (grants 284601 and 309581 to OO, grant 308651 to NA), Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation (grant to OO), and the Research Council of Norway through its Centers of Excellence Funding Scheme (223257) to OO via Center for Biodiversity Dynamics.
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