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Impact of Phytophthora agathidicida infection on canopy and forest floor nutrient concentrations and fluxes in a kauri-dominated forest
  • Luitgard Schwendenmann,
  • Beate Michalzik
Luitgard Schwendenmann
The University of Auckland
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Beate Michalzik
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena
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Abstract

Kauri dieback, caused by Phytophthora agathidicida, is an ecosystem disturbance that poses a recent threat to the survival of kauri (Agathis australis) forests in New Zealand. Throughfall and stemflow play an important role in meeting the nutrient requirements of kauri forests. However, the effects of kauri dieback on canopy nutrient deposition remain unknown. Here we measured throughfall, stemflow and forest floor water yield and nutrient concentrations and fluxes (potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, silicon, sulphur, sodium, iron) of ten kauri trees differing in soil P. agathidicida DNA concentration and health status. We did not observe an effect of soil P. agathidicida DNA concentration on throughfall and stemflow water yield. Throughfall and forest floor nutrient concentrations and fluxes tended to decrease (up to 50%) with increasing soil P. agathidicida DNA concentration. Significant effects were found for potassium and manganese fluxes in throughfall, and calcium and silicon fluxes in forest floor leachate. The decline in nutrient input will have implications on plant nutrition, tree health and susceptibility to future pathogen infection in these ecologically unique kauri forests. Given our findings and the increasing spread of Phytophthora species worldwide, research on the underlying physiological mechanisms linking dieback and plant-soil nutrient fluxes is critical.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

07 Dec 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
08 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
08 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
11 Dec 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Jan 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
23 Jan 20211st Revision Received
25 Jan 2021Submission Checks Completed
25 Jan 2021Assigned to Editor
25 Jan 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Accept