Mycorrhizal Ecology by D. J. Read (auth.), Dr. Marcel G. A. van der Heijden, Dr.

By D. J. Read (auth.), Dr. Marcel G. A. van der Heijden, Dr. Ian R. Sanders (eds.)

Plants collaborate with many micro-organisms within the rhizosphere to shape mutualistic institutions. the best examples is the mycorrhizal symbio­ sis among crops and fungi. right here, fungi help vegetation with mineral nutri­ ents and different providers and the fungi, in flip, obtain photosynthates from the autotrophic crops. Mycorrhizal institutions are universal in just about all eco­ platforms and eighty % of all land crops go together with those mutualistic soil fungi. there's an expanding know-how between biologists, ecologists and mycolo­ gists that mycorrhizal institutions have to be thought of with a purpose to lower than­ stand the ecology and evolution of crops, plant groups and ecosystems. within the final decade, many advances and breakthroughs were made in mycorrhizal ecology. We objective to summarise those advances during this quantity, with distinctive emphasis given to the ecological functionality of the mycorrhizal symbiosis. This quantity is split into six sections. the 1st part supplies an intro­ duction to the mycorrhizal symbiosis and discusses the development that has been made in figuring out the ecological functionality of this organization. the second one part offers with the eco-physiology of mycorrhizal vegetation. It additionally covers the effect of world adjustments at the symbiosis. The 3rd part dis­ cusses the impacts of mycorrhizal fungi on biodiversity and atmosphere functioning. It additionally discusses components that impact the range and constitution of mycorrhizal fungal groups. The fourth part indicates the multi­ trophic nature of the mycorrhizal symbiosis.

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1998; Heinonsalo et al. 2000). One of the key questions to confront new generations of researchers will concern the extent and nature of the involvement of bacteria in the processes of root colonisation and nutrient mobilisation in natural ecosystems. Our increasing awareness of the potential of mycorrhizal fungi to act as 'bio-control' agents, in the field (Newsham et al. , Chap. ). This emphasises the need to include specific fungal components in inocula to be applied to soil microcosms. The notion that sterilised soil can be left to Towards Ecological Relevance 17 become spontaneously re-infected from the air spora, dominated as it is by a select group of ruderal saprophytes, has the virtue of convenience but not of ecological sense.

Using this approach, rates of colonisation, which can be critical determinants of plant response, are inherently variable, depending as they must in part upon the concentration of inoculum used. It is an essential prerequisite of an experiment designed to enquire about the involvement of AM fungi in determining the 'rules of assembly' of plant communities, that the nature of the infection process be taken into account. In cultivated agricultural land and in post-disturbance early successional environments, spores and other fractionated point sources of inoculum may indeed constitute the only major source of inoculum, so it becomes entirely appropriate to use inoculum of these kinds in reconstructing such environments.

1 Nomination of Important and Widely Recognised Plant Community Types Understanding of the contribution of mycorrhiza to ecosystem function is likely to be advanced most effectively by concentrating initially upon plant communities of well defined structure and wide geographic distribution. Amongst these, it will be most rewarding to investigate assemblages in which, for nutritional or other reasons, maximal impacts of mycorrhizal colonisation can be hypothesised. Pioneers of microcosm study have largely adopted this approach, their efforts having been devoted to representative communities of calcareous grassland (Grime et al.

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