Phylogenetic and functional patterns of host plants and their associated fungi: implications for symbiotic co-evolution, community interactions, and ecosystem processes
Avis, Peter .
“Epidemic” growth of mycorrhizal fungi in the face of nitrogen deposition?
Epidemic growth of pathogenic fungi can greatly alter ecosystems (e.g., chestnut blight in North American forests) but the causes and consequences of similar population expansion of mycorrhizal fungi are not well understood. Although unexpected, global change events such as increased nitrogen deposition (a significant concern in regions downwind of major centers of industry and agriculture) can result in the apparent expansion and dominance of some species of mycorrhizal fungi despite overall decreases in mycorrhizal fungal diversity. While linked to changes in the environment, this kind of growth seems contrary to mutualism theory and leaves many questions: Are mycorrhizal fungi that increase in abundance in response to nitrogen addition assisting plants with services other than nitrogen uptake (e.g. phosphorus instead)? Are they cheaters of the mycorrhizal symbiosis for the fixed carbon of their host plants? Do these mycorrhizal fungi disproportionately affect ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling and carbon storage? Do closely related fungi respond in similar ways? This presentation will address these questions by examining ectomycorrhizal associations in environments with increased nitrogen supply and discuss potential implications to the plant community and ecosystems, the phylogenetic significance and on-going investigations of these fungi.
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1 - Indiana University Northwest, Biology, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN, 46408, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Rendezvous A/Snowbird Center
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 4:45 PM