Mycorrhizae—Rhizosphere Determinants of Plant Communities: What Can We Learn from the Tropics?

Authored by: Ingrid Kottke , Gábor M. Kovács

Plant Roots

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  April  2013

Print ISBN: 9781439846483
eBook ISBN: 9781439846490
Adobe ISBN:


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Plant communities are characterized by species composition and abundances. Local occurrence of communities was explained by assuming the abiotic factors and plant–plant interactions as the most important drivers (Ellenberg 1996). Recently, phylogeny and paleobiogeography of plants became more relevant to understand, for example, disparity of species richness among tropical, temperate, and boreal biomes (Fine et al. 2008). Biotic interactions came into interest as shaping tropical plant communities (Burslem et al. 2005). Here, we focus on soil fungi that mutually associate with fine roots of more than 90% of land plants by forming mycorrhizae (Smith and Read 2008). By the nonrandom, phylogenetic conservative associations of mycobionts and plants established in coevolution since appearance of first land plants, local presence or absence of the distinct mycobionts appeared as an important determinant upon establishment of land plants and their communities (Smith and Read 2008).

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