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The role of fungi in heterogeneous sediment microbial networks

Booth, Jenny; Fusi, Marco; Marasco, Ramona; Michoud, Gr�goire; Fodelianakis, Stilianos; Merlino, Giuseppe; Daffonchio, Daniele


Jenny Booth

Marco Fusi

Ramona Marasco

Gr�goire Michoud

Stilianos Fodelianakis

Giuseppe Merlino

Daniele Daffonchio


While prokaryote community diversity and function have been extensively studied in soils and sediments, the functional role of fungi, despite their huge diversity, is widely unexplored. several studies have, nonetheless, revealed the importance of fungi in provisioning services to prokaryote communities. Here, we hypothesise that the fungal community plays a key role in coordinating entire microbial communities by controlling the structure of functional networks in sediment. We selected a sediment environment with high niche diversity due to prevalent macrofaunal bioturbation, namely intertidal mangrove sediment, and explored the assembly of bacteria, archaea and fungi in different sediment niches, which we characterised by biogeochemical analysis, around the burrow of a herbivorous crab. We detected a high level of heterogeneity in sediment biogeochemical conditions, and diverse niches harboured distinct communities of bacteria, fungi and archaea. saprotrophic fungi were a pivotal component of microbial networks throughout and we invariably found fungi to act as keystone species in all the examined niches and possibly acting synergistically with other environmental variables to determine the overall microbial community structure. In consideration of the importance of microbial-based nutrient cycling on overall sediment ecosystem functioning, we underline that the fungal microbiome and its role in the functional interactome cannot be overlooked.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 28, 2019
Online Publication Date May 17, 2019
Publication Date May 17, 2019
Deposit Date May 17, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 17, 2019
Journal Scientific Reports
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 7537
Keywords Soils, fungal microbiome.
Public URL
Contract Date May 17, 2019


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