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Community assembly and coexistence in communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (2016)

Vályi K., Mardhiah U., Rillig M., Hempel S.

The ISME Journal, 10 (10), 2341-2351

doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.46

Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are asexual, obligately symbiotic fungi with unique morphology and genomic structure, which occupy a dual niche, that is, the soil and the host root. Consequently, the direct adoption of models for community assembly developed for other organism groups is not evident. In this paper we adapted modern coexistence and assembly theory to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. We review research on the elements of community assembly and coexistence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, highlighting recent studies using molecular methods. By addressing several points from the individual to the community level where the application of modern community ecology terms runs into problems when arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are concerned, we aim to account for these special circumstances from a mycocentric point of view. We suggest that hierarchical spatial structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities should be explicitly taken into account in future studies. The conceptual framework we develop here for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is also adaptable for other host-associated microbial communities.

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