27 Jul 2023
 | 27 Jul 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Unraveling biogeographical patterns and environmental drivers of soil fungal diversity at the French national scale

Christophe Djemiel, Samuel Dequiedt, Walid Horrigue, Arthur Bailly, Mélanie Lelièvre, Julie Tripied, Charles Guilland, Solène Perrin, Gwendoline Comment, Nicolas Saby, Claudy Jolivet, Antonio Bispo, Line Boulonne, Antoine Pierart, Patrick Wincker, Corinne Cruaud, Pierre-Alain Maron, Sébastien Terrat, and Lionel Ranjard

Abstract. The fungal kingdom is among the most diversified kingdoms on earth with estimations up to 12 million species. Yet, it remains poorly understood with only 150,000 fungal species currently described. Given the major ecological role of fungi in ecosystem functioning, these numbers stress the importance of investigating fungal diversity description across different ecosystem types. Here, we explored the spatial distribution of the soil fungal diversity on a broad geographical scale, using the French Soil Quality Monitoring Network that covers the whole French territory (2,171 soils sampled along a systematic grid). Fungal alpha-diversity was assessed directly from soil DNA using a metabarcoding approach. Total cumulated fungal diversity across France included 136,219 OTUs, i.e., about 1 % of the global soil fungal diversity for a territory representing only 0.3 % of terrestrial surface on Earth. Based on this dataset, the first extensive map of fungal alpha-diversity was drawn and evidenced a heterogeneous and spatially structured distribution in large biogeographical patterns of 231 km radius for richness (Hill number q=0) and smaller patterns of 36 km radius for dominant fungi (Hill number q=2). As related to other environmental parameters, the spatial distribution of fungal diversity was mainly influenced by local filters such as soil characteristics and land management, but also by global filters such as climate conditions. The spatial distribution of abundant and rare fungi was determined by distinct or similar filters with various relative influences. Interestingly, cropped soils exhibited the highest pool of fungal diversity relatively to forest and vineyard soils. In complement, soil fungal OTUs network interactions were calculated under the different land uses across France. They varied hugely and showed a loss of 75 % of the complexity in crop systems and grasslands compared to forests, and up to 83 % in vineyard systems. Overall, our study revealed that a nation-wide survey with a high spatial resolution approach is relevant to deeply investigate the spatial distribution and determinism of soil fungal diversity. Our findings provide novel insights for a better understanding of soil fungal ecology and upgrade biodiversity conservation policies by supplying representative repositories dedicated to soil microorganisms in a context of global change.

Christophe Djemiel et al.

Status: open (until 01 Nov 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1552', César Marín, 10 Sep 2023 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Christophe Djemiel, 15 Sep 2023 reply
  • EC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1552', Elizabeth Bach, 25 Sep 2023 reply

Christophe Djemiel et al.

Christophe Djemiel et al.


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Short summary
The fungal kingdom has been diversifying for more than 800 million years by colonizing a large number of habitats on Earth. Based on an unique dataset, we described the spatial distribution of fungal diversity at the scale of France and also environmental drivers by tackling biogeographical patterns and ecological concepts. The main results show that total fungal richness includes about 1 % of the global soil fungal diversity for a territory representing only 0.3 % of terrestrial surface on Earth.