Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Bradley, Robin [1], Hull, Julia [2].

Big research ins a small space: Mycorrhizal communities differ in simulated elevational gradient in courtyard garden at Flagstaff High School.

Climate change is disportionately affecting the American southwest. Plant species must acclimate, adapt, migrate or die. Most plants host mycorrhizal fungi, which form a mutualistic relationship that may allow the plant to acclimate to changing environmental conditions. Similar to the plant species distributions, mycorrhizal fungal species distributions are also partly controlled by climatic conditions. We examined the hypothesis that ectomycorrhizal fungal (EMF) communities are structured by climate. We replicated the elevational gradient of the San Francisco peaks in northern Arizona by placing a common garden in three microclimates in our high school courtyard, mimicking the Piñon-Juniper, Ponderosa Pine, and Mixed Conifer life zones. We quantified EM colonization and characterized EMF morphotypes of Southwestern White Pines (Pinus strobiformis). Two patterns emerged. First, root tips on the white pines in the mixed conifer microclimate had the highest percentage of dead EMs. Second, the fungal community in the mixed conifer microclimate had a different morphotype distribution from communities in the piñon-juniper and ponderosa pine microclimates. We conclude that due to the shadier conditions of the mixed conifer microclimate, there was a higher turnover rate of ectomycorrhizal fungi and a difference in the species distribution. To the best of our knowledge EMF communities of Southwestern White Pines have not been characterized in the wild. Our results may be confirmed by characterizing EMF communities in replicated common gardens in the real elevational gradient. Mycorrhizas may become essential to mitigation of climate change because of their ability to help plants adapt to changing climate conditions.

1 - Flagstaff High School, 400 W Elm Street, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001, United States
2 - Northern Arizona University, 617 S Beaver Street, Flagstaff , Arizona, 86011, USA

citizen science
mycorrhizal fungi
climate change.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEO012
Abstract ID:899
Candidate for Awards:None

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