1) Describe what is meant by “host specificity of the ectomycorrhizal community” in this article. Why would a change in the aboveground tree community change the belowground fungal community?

2) Why would RNA-based community survey be different from DNA-based ones? Name 1 pro and 1 con to using one and the other.

3) Identify all the environmental parameters that had significant predictive power for fungal communities in this study. Identify which of these parameters had the greatest influence on the saprotrophic community and on the ectomycorrhizal community.

4) What does ASV and OTU stand for? What do each of these units mean? And what is the difference between these two units? Why do we use these terms instead of ‘species’?

5) Why did authors remove samples with fewer than 500 sequence reads in their final analyses?

6) Why is it important to measure both species richness and Shannon diversity? In Fig. 3, what does each dot represent. Summarize Fig. 3A and Fig. 3B in your own words.


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