Increasing species richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi benefits some plants, but not others

Presentation


Frew, Adam. 2019. "Increasing species richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi benefits some plants, but not others." 2019 Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA 2019). Launceston, Australia 24 - 29 Nov 2019
Paper/Presentation Title

Increasing species richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi benefits some plants, but not others

Presentation TypePresentation
Authors
AuthorFrew, Adam
Year2019
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttps://www.esa2019.org.au/
Conference/Event2019 Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA 2019)
Event Details
2019 Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA 2019)
Delivery
In person
Event Date
24 to end of 29 Nov 2019
Event Location
Launceston, Australia
Abstract

As the global population continues to increase, we face the formidable challenges associated with global climate change and the pressing need to produce more food in an ecologically sustainable way. Most plants, including the world’s most important crops, form associations with a co-evolved group of soil-dwelling fungi (Glomeromycotina) known as arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. These fungi are not only important for plant productivity and nutrient acquisition but are critical to many ecosystem processes. Thus, the management of the AM symbiosis is likely to be critical to sustainable land management into the future. Yet, the outcomes of this symbiosis for the host plant can depend on the plant and fungal identities, for example C4 plants are often observed to benefit more from AM fungi than C3. It can also depend on environmental context, such as soil phosphorus availability.

Controlled-environment experimentation using different AM fungal inoculants reveals that increasing AM fungal species richness in the soil can have substantial positive growth and nutritional outcomes for major C3 and C4 crop species. However, the results also highlight that some plants may derive little or no benefit from increasing AM fungal species richness. These findings suggest that although it may not be uniformly advantageous to all plants, promoting AM fungal diversity in the soil is likely to be a key contributor towards agricultural sustainability.

Keywordssustainable land management; food production; soil-dwelling fungi; Glomeromycotina; arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi; AM symbiosis; C4 crop species; C3 crop species
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020310308. Terrestrial ecology
310899. Plant biology not elsewhere classified
310703. Microbial ecology
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Sciences
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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