Pine plantations in the Southern Hemisphere possess greatly impoverished assemblages of ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF), often fewer than 20 species at a single forest site, compared to native populations of those same pines. The filtering results in a loss of some EMF lineages and may lead to large-scale impacts on soil biogeochemical processes. This work is to understand how co-introduction and subsequent co-invasion of pines and EMF into the Southern Hemisphere have shaped the composition of soil fungal communities, driven the evolution of fungal genomes and genes required for EMF-plant communication, and altered soil cycling in ecosystems.
Proposer: Hui-Ling Liao, NFREC/University of Florida
Proposal: Genetic, community, and ecosystem consequences of co-introduction of mycorrhizal fungi with exotic pines