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Irradiance governs exploitation of fungi: fine-tuning of carbon gain by two partially myco-heterotrophic orchids

Title data

Preiß, Katja ; Adam, Iris K. U. ; Gebauer, Gerhard:
Irradiance governs exploitation of fungi: fine-tuning of carbon gain by two partially myco-heterotrophic orchids.
In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Vol. 277 (2010) Issue 1686 . - pp. 1333-1336.
ISSN 0962-8452
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2009.1966

Abstract in another language

While all members of the Orchidaceae are fully dependent on mycorrhizal fungi during their achlorophyllous juvenile stages, mature plants may remain fully myco-heterotrophic, become fully autotrophic or develop a nutritional mode where the carbon gain through photosynthesis is complemented by organic carbon from fungal partners. This so-called partial myco-heterotrophy is intriguingly complex. Current knowledge indicates a large range in the proportion of fungus-derived carbon between and within partially myco-heterotrophic plant species. However, the driving factors for this variation are so far mostly unknown. Here we show for two green species of the orchid genus Cephalanthera that light availability is the major determinant of the degree of myco-heterotrophy. Using leaf stable isotope natural abundance analysis together with time-integrated micro-scale light climate monitoring we could demonstrate that there is a sensitive reaction to varying light availability within forests. Low light levels result in strong myco-heterotrophy while higher irradiances successively drive the orchids towards autotrophy. Our results demonstrate that partial myco-heterotrophy in these species is not a static nutritional mode but a flexible mechanism driven by light availability which allows a balanced utilisation of carbon resources available in nature.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER77341
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2015 06:59
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 09:28
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/17707