Article: article from journal or magazin.
Plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity - are we looking at the relevant levels of diversity and are we using the right techniques?
Fungal symbionts commonly occur in plants influencing host growth, physiology, and ecology (Carlile et al., 2001). However, while whole-plant growth responses to biotrophic fungi are readily demonstrated, it has been much more difficult to identify and detect the physiological mechanisms responsible. Previous work on the clonal grass Glyceria striata has revealed that the systemic fungal endophyte Epichloë glyceriae has a positive effect on clonal growth of its host (Pan & Clay, 2002; 2003). The latest study from these authors, in this issue (pp. 467- 475), now suggests that increased carbon movement in hosts infected by E. glyceriae may function as one mechanism by which endophytic fungi could increase plant growth. Given the widespread distribution of both clonal plants and symbiotic fungi, this research will have implications for our understanding of the ecology and evolution of fungus-plant associations in natural communities.
AMF species richness, AMF spore morphology, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity, molecular techniques, oak savannas, plant community composition, plant diversity
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