NCEAS Project 8561

Narrowing the gap between theory and practice in mycorrhizal management

  • Jason D. Hoeksema
  • Nancy C. Johnson
  • James A. Umbanhowar

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group20th—23rd January 2005Participant List  
Working Group2nd—5th November 2005Participant List  
Working Group27th April—2nd May 2006Participant List  

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Research on interactions between plants and their symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi has increased dramatically during the last decade, generating a confusing body of theoretical and empirical results. Simultaneously, there has been an explosion in commercial applications of mycorrhizal fungi in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and ecosystem restoration. Considering the unexpected consequences of many human introductions of non-native plants and animals, and our current lack of understanding of the factors controlling mutualistic performance of mycorrhizas, it is alarming that so little caution is being used in commercial applications of mycorrhizal fungi. Our proposed working group will: 1) perform meta-analyses to synthesize the currently disparate body of empirical and theoretical work on mycorrhizal function within communities and ecosystems, 2) develop models of mycorrhizal performance with environmental conditions and plant and fungal phenotypes as variables, 3) generate recommendations and precautions regarding the commercial use of mycorrhizal inoculum, 4) establish an online database that documents inoculation trials and tracks their outcome over time, and 5) organize a symposium at an international conference. In addition to contributing to the development of principles to guide mycorrhizal management, our efforts will help generate better theories for understanding the roles of mutualisms in population and community dynamics.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Dissertation or Thesis Chaudhary, Bala. 2006. Functions of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi at ecosystem and community scales in semi-arid shrublands. M.S. Thesis. Northern Arizona University .
Presentations Chaudhary, Bala. 2006. It's a dryworld afterall: Functional ecology of arid ecosystems. International Conference on Mycorrhizas, July 2006. Granada, Spain.
Data Set Chaudhary, Bala; Walters, Lawrence; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Johnson, Nancy C.; Umbanhowar, James A. 2006. MycoDB: Database for meta-analyses of mycorrhizal inoculation. (Online version)
Dissertation or Thesis Chaudhary, Bala. 2009. Structure and function of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities across several spatial scales. Ph.D. Dissertation . Northern Arizona University .
Journal Article Chaudhary, Bala; Walters, Lawrence; Bever, James D.; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Wilson, G. A. Advancing synthetic ecology: A data management technique to facilitate complex ecological meta-analyses. Ecology Letters.
Presentations Hoeksema, Jason D. 2009. Context-dependency in plant response to mycorrhizal fungi: A meta-analysis. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, August 5, 2009. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Journal Article Hoeksema, Jason D.; Chaudhary, Bala; Gehring, Catherine; Johnson, Nancy C.; Karst, Justine; Koide, Roger; Pringle, Anne; Zabinski, Catherine; Bever, James D.; Moore, John C.; Wilson, Gail W.; Klironomos, John N.; Umbanhowar, James A. 2010. A meta-analysis of context-dependency in plant response to inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi. Ecology Letters. Vol: 13. Pages 394-407.
Presentations Johnson, Nancy C. 2005. Managing indigenous AMF. Ecological risks associated with introduction of commercial inocula around the world. Produccion de Inoculantes de Micorriza Arbusculares. Caracas, Venezuela.
Journal Article Johnson, Nancy C.; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Bever, James D.; Chaudhary, Bala; Gehring, Catherine; Klironomos, John N.; Koide, Roger; Moore, John C.; Moutoglis, Peter; Schwartz, Mark W.; Simard, Suzanne; Swenson, William; Umbanhowar, James A.; Wilson, Gail W.; Zabinski, Catherine; Miller, R. Michael. 2006. From Lilliput to Brobdingnag: Extending models of mycorrhizal function across scales. BioScience. Vol: 56(11). Pages 889-900.
Journal Article Johnson, Nancy C.; Chaudhary, Bala; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Moore, John C.; Pringle, Anne; Umbanhowar, James A.; Wilson, Gail W. 2009. Mysterious mycorrhizae? A field trip and classroom experiment to demystify the symbioses formed between plants and fungi. American Biology Teacher . Vol: 71(7). Pages 424-429.
Journal Article Moore, John C.; Berlow, Eric L.; Coleman, David C.; de Ruiter, Peter C.; Dong, Quan; Hastings, Alan; Johnson, Nancy C.; McCann, Kevin S.; Melville-Smith, Kimberly A.; Morin, Peter J.; Nadelhoffer, Knute; Rosemond, Amy; Post, David M.; Sabo, John L.; Scow, Kate; Vanni, Michael J.; Wall, Diana H. 2004. Detritus, trophic dynamics and biodiversity. Ecology Letters. Vol: 7. Pages 584-600.
Journal Article Schwartz, Mark W.; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Gehring, Catherine; Johnson, Nancy C.; Klironomos, John N.; Abbott, Lynette K.; Pringle, Anne. 2006. The promise and the potential consequences of the global transport of mycorrhizal fungal inoculum. Ecology Letters. Vol: 9. Pages 501-515.