14.6. Guest Lecture: Context-dependency in plant-microbe interactions: Linking trees, microbes and enviromental gradients in forest systems

Dr. Gemma Rutten will give a lecture on "Context-dependency in plant-microbe interactions: linking trees, microbes and enviromental gradients in forest systems" at 14:00 on 14 June, 2019, at the NW-Faculty, Hörsaal 421. The Department of Life Sciences invites you to attend!

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des Bildes

Dr. Gemma Rutten ist Postdoktorandin (BEF-China) am Deutschen Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) in Halle-Jena-Leipzig.

Interactions between plants and their microbes can affect ecosystem functioning. For example, plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) have been shown to be relevant drivers of forest community dynamics. Moreover, specific root associated microbes have been found to enhance the drought tolerance and the overall health of plants. However, few studies have explored the variation of plant-micobiome interactions along environmental gradients, which is needed in order to better predict the outcome of ongoing global changes. I have been working on two different studies which should help filling this knowledge gap. In Southern Spain, we investigated how PSFs of Mediterranean Oaks change with precipitation. We sequenced the prokaryotic and fungal communities under two Mediterranean oaks along a precipitation gradient (637- 948 mm/year), to assess the relative importance of precipitation and host tree species on microbial community assembly. Prokaryotic and fungal communities varied over precipitation and host tree species, both in terms of richness and composition. We zoomed to ecologically relevant taxa, to find more fungi than prokaryotes to be associated to a specific host tree. Additionally, we found more locally specific prokaryotes in the drier sites than in the wetter sites, while locally specific fungi showed similar decreasing trend along the precipitation gradient. Taken together with similar PSF effects along the precipitation gradient, this suggests an accumulation of beneficial microbes at the driest end of the gradient. The second study is large scale forest biodiversity-ecosystem functioning project, which was set up 10 years ago in the subtropical forests of Xingangshan in Jiangxi province in China. Within the design of this long-term project I investigate plant-microbe interactions along a very different gradient, namely a tropical and temperate tree species richness gradient. I will introduce you to the BEF-China platform and to my future plans


After the seminar (ca. 16:00 h), everybody is welcome to join us for drinks and munchies in the „coffee corner on the second floor“.


Dr. Jana Petermann

AG-Leiterin, Associate Professor

Universität Salzburg

Hellbrunnerstrasse 34

Tel: +43 (0) 662 / 8044-5482

E-mail to Dr. Jana Petermann

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