What is it about?
Most terrestrial plants form symbioses with arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungi, yet the global-scale drivers of the symbiosis remain unresolved. We propose here that latitude explains plant dependency on mycorrhizal fungi via making three adjustments to mycorrhizal responsiveness: phenotypically-plastic responses, initiating eco-evolutionary processes and environmental filtering. The hypothesis provides a novel insight into the responsiveness of plants to mycorrhizal fungi at global scales, and have important implications both for understanding the consequences of range-shifting by plant populations, or optimising crop genotypes in response to climate.
Photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash
Why is it important?
We provide a novel insight into the responsiveness of plants to mycorrhizal fungi at global scales, which may have important implications both for understanding the consequences of range-shifting by plant populations or optimizing crop genotypes in response to climate. At the individual level, carbon allocation by plants to mycorrhizal fungi is known to be a key mechanism regulating symbiotic function. Our hypothesis that solar radiation is a key driver of plant responsiveness to mycorrhizal fungi across studies and across large geographical scales adds a new and important dimension to the role of plant carbon allocation in driving the symbiosis.
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This page is a summary of: Latitudinal constraints in responsiveness of plants to arbuscular mycorrhiza: the ‘sun‐worshipper’ hypothesis, New Phytologist, May 2019, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/nph.15918.
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