Contributions of fungi to carbon flow and nutrient cycling from standing dead Typha angustifolia leaf litter in a temperate freshwater marsh

Date

2011-02-03

Authors

Neely, Robert
Ohsowski, B.
Francoeur, S.
Kuehn, K.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

Abstract

Standing dead plant litter often constitutes a large fraction of the detritus in many freshwater marshes and lake littoral habitats. Despite this evidence, microbial decay processes in standing litter and its contribution to wetland carbon and nutrient cycling have rarely been quantified. We examined the contribution of fungi to carbon flow and nutrient cycling from Typha angustifolia during senescence and standing litter decomposition. Naturally standing Typha leaves were collected in August and then periodically over 1 yr. We quantified losses in leaf carbon (C), fungal biomass, and fungal production rates and constructed a partial budget estimating C flow into fungal decomposers. Additionally, we determined leaf litter N and P concentrations to assess the effect of fungi on detrital nutrient dynamics. Significant losses in leaf C occurred during plant senescence and standing litter decay (∼ 55%). Fungal biomass increased during litter decay, reaching a maximum of 106 ± 7 mg C g−1 detrital C. Cumulative fungal production totaled 123 mg C g−1 initial detrital C, indicating that 22% of the Typha leaf C lost was assimilated into fungal biomass. Fungi also transformed and immobilized nutrients within Typha leaves, with fungal N and P accounting for > 50% of the total detrital N and P during later stages of leaf decay. Significant transformation and decomposition of emergent macrophyte litter occurs during the standing dead phase, and a large portion of the plant C and nutrients are channeled into and through fungal decomposers.

Description

Article originally published in Limnology and Oceanography, 56(2), 529–539. English. Published Online 2011. https://doi.org/10.4319/lo.2011.56.2.0529

Keywords

Limnology, Ecology, Freshwater algae, Wetland ecosystems, Fungal biomass

Citation

This is the abstract for an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.4319/lo.2011.56.2.0529. Recommended citation: Kuehn, K. A., Ohsowski, B. M., Francoeur, S. N., & Neely, R. K. (2011). Contributions of fungi to carbon flow and nutrient cycling from standing dead Typha angustifolia leaf litter in a temperate freshwater marsh. Limnology and Oceanography, 56(2), 529–539. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.