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The impact of elevated CO2 and global climate change on arbuscular mycorrhizas: a mycocentric approach

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JournalNew Phytologist
DatePublished - Jul 2000
Issue number1
Volume147
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)179-187
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses are a potentially important link in the chain of response of ecosystems to elevated atmospheric [CO2]. By promoting plant phosphorus uptake and acting as a sink for plant carbon, they can alleviate photosynthetic down-regulation. Because hyphal turnover is likely to be fast, especially in warmer soils, they can also act as a rapid pathway for the return of carbon to the atmosphere. However, most experiments on AM responses to [CO2] have failed to take into account the difference in growth of mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal plants; those that hare done so suggest that AM colonization of roots is little altered by [CO2], although this issue remains to be resolved. Very little is known about the effects of other factors of global environmental change on mycorrhizas. These issues need urgent attention. It is also necessary to understand the potential for the various AM fungal taxa to respond differentially to environmental changes, including carbon supply and soil temperature and moisture, especially because of the differential abilities of plant and fungal species to migrate in response to changing environments. Indeed, there is a need for a new approach to the study of mycorrhizal associations, which has been too plant-centred. It is essential to regard the fungus as an organism itself, and to understand its biology both as an entity and as part of a symbiosis.

    Research areas

  • elevated [CO2], temperature, mycorrhizal function, diversity, ATMOSPHERIC CARBON-DIOXIDE, PLANTAGO-LANCEOLATA, PHOSPHORUS INFLOW, TRIFOLIUM-REPENS, GLOMUS-MOSSEAE, GAS-EXCHANGE, COLONIZATION, RESPONSES, FUNGI, GROWTH

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