role in vegetation dynamics, but the underlying mechanisms remain unresolved.
Here we show that the diversity of putative pathogenic, mycorrhizal and
saprotrophic fungi are primary regulators of plant-soil feedbacks across a broad
range of temperate grassland plant species. We show that plant species with
resource-acquisitive traits, such as high shoot nitrogen concentrations and thin
roots, attract diverse communities of putative fungal pathogens and specialist
saprotrophs, and a lower diversity of mycorrhizal fungi, resulting in strong plant
growth suppression on soil occupied by the same species. Moreover, soil
properties modulate feedbacks with fertile soils promoting antagonistic
relationships between soil fungi and plants. This study advances our capacity to
predict plant-soil feedbacks and vegetation dynamics by revealing fundamental
links between soil properties, plant resource acquisition strategies and the
diversity of fungal guilds in soil.