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Long-term field translocation differentially affects arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal trees in a sub-tropical forest

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EcM) trees are commonly represented in tropical forests, but their response to warming is generally not known. We conducted a long-term (9-year) field experiment in subtropical China by translocating AM tree species (Machilus breviflora and Schima superba) and EcM tree species (Syzygium rehderianum and Castanopsis hystrix) from a cooler high-elevation site (300 m) to a 1℃ warmer low-elevation site (30 m). Here, we report leaf chemical and physiological data from the last three years (Years 7-9) of the translocation experiment. Translocation to warmer site induced higher air (Tair) and soil (Tsoil) temperatures, but lower soil volumetric water content (SVWC). Translocation treatment significantly increased the light-saturated photosynthetic rate (Asat) for AM trees due to higher stomatal conductance (gs) and Rubisco carboxylation capacity (Vcmax), generating increased growth in AM trees. Translocation treatment reduced the maximum efficiency of photosynthetic quantum yield (Fv/Fm) and growth in EcM trees. Translocation treatment increased leaf turgor loss point (TLP) in AM trees, but reduced TLP in EcM trees. Translocation treatment increased foliar nitrogen (N) concentrations and phosphorus (P) concentrations for AM trees. Translocation treatment was more beneficial for the growth of AM trees than EcM trees, while EcM trees were more tolerant of soil water deficit. Differential responses to these co-occurring climate drivers may alter the composition of tree functional groups and ecosystem function in tropical forests in response to future warmer and drier climate conditions.

This paper was published in journal of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. Postdoctor Ting Wu was the first author, and Prof. Juxiu was the corresponding author. This study was jointly funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation. The link is 

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