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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Soil fungi are key regulators of forest carbon cycling and their responses to global change have effects that ripple throughout ecosystems. Global changes are expected to push many fungi beyond their environmental niches, but there are relatively few studies involving multiple, simultaneous global change factors. Here, we studied soil fungal diversity, community composition, co-occurrence patterns, and decomposition gene responses to 10 years of soil warming and nitrogen addition, alone and in combination. We specifically examined whether there were fungal community characteristics that could explain changes in soil carbon storage and organic matter chemistry in chronically warmed and fertilized soil. We found that fungal communities in warmed soils are less diverse and shift in composition. Warming also favored hyperdominance by a few mycorrhizal fungal species and lowered manganese peroxidase but increased hydrolytic enzyme encoding gene potentials. Nitrogen addition did not significantly affect fungal community composition but, like warming, did reduce fungal diversity and favored overdominance by a unique set of mycorrhizal taxa. Warming alone and in combination with nitrogen addition also reduced negative but increased positive fungal co-occurrence probabilities, promoting species coexistence. Negative fungal co-occurrence was positively correlated to soil carbon content, while the proportion of fungal hydrolytic enzyme encoding genes was negatively correlated with soil carbon content. This may reflect fungal life history trade-offs between competition (e.g., reduced negative co-occurrence) and resource acquisition (e.g., higher abundance of hydrolytic enzyme encoding genes) with implications for carbon storage.


Soil Biogeochemistry and Microbial Ecology

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Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene


University of California Press

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© 2021 The Author(s)


This is an open access article published by University of California Press in Elementa in 2021, available online: