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Functions, transmission and emission of the canopy microbiota

Abstract : Trees interact with diverse microbial communities that influence their fitness and the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Unlike microorganisms associated with roots and soil, microorganisms that colonize the forest canopy are still poorly understood. The objective of this thesis is to better understand the functions of microorganisms associated with the aerial parts of trees (leaves, stems, seeds) as well as their vertical (from the plant to its offspring) and horizontal (emission from the plant to the atmosphere) transmission dynamics, by combining molecular ecology and plant ecophysiology analyses. The first chapter [P1] shows a vertical stratification of fungal and foliar bacterial communities within the beech canopy (Fagus sylvatica). This stratification is more pronounced for epiphytic microorganisms than for endophytes. It also decreases during the growing season in bacteria and appears to be related to morphology rather than foliar physiology. Vertical stratification of microbial functions is being analyzed. The second chapter [P2] highlights the presence of fungi in the internal tissues of the acorns of sessile oak (Quercus petraea), including the embryo, suggesting that the microbiota can be transmitted vertically from the mother tree to its offsprings and influence forest regeneration. Acorns contain in particular several fungal pathogens, in association with their mycoparasites. These fungal communities vary significantly depending on the mother tree and the oak population. Finally, the third chapter [P3] tests a prototype for measuring bacterial emission fluxes over plant cover. It shows that half of the species captured in the atmosphere are present on the leaf surface and suggests that the composition of bioaerosols is strongly influenced by the locally dominant cultivated plant, the grapevine (Vitis vinifera). Complementary measures, including a wider range of forest and non-forestry habitats, will have to be carried out to better understand the origin of emissions, which are known to influence the water cycle. This thesis therefore provides elements for modelling the dynamics and evolution of the tree-microbiota-atmosphere system, which will need to be strengthened and integrated into knowledge of the soil system in order to respond to the challenges raised by climate change
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Tania Fort. Functions, transmission and emission of the canopy microbiota. Vegetal Biology. Université de Bordeaux, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019BORD0338⟩. ⟨tel-02869590⟩

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