Title: Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and their Value for Ecosystem Management
Publisher: InTech
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC85860
ISBN: 978-953-51-1315-7
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/58231
DOI: 10.5772/58231
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) are root obligate symbionts of nearly all the plants living on Earth. They are considered as living fossils: there are evidences that date back to 460 million years ago their presence on our planet. Taxonomically, they belong to the Glomeromycota phylum. They are found in roots of 80% of plant species and give and get back benefits to their partners, as happens in all mutual symbiotic relationships. They build up a bridge between plant and soil, growing their mycelia both inside and outside plant roots. AMF provide the plant with water, soil mineral nutrients (mainly phosphorus and nitrogen), and pathogen protection. In exchange, photosynthetic compounds are transferred to the fungus. Besides physiological benefits to the host-plant, AMF play an important ecological role. They are important in soil structuring thanks to their thick extraradical hyphal network able to aggregate soil particles. They help plants establish in degraded ecosystems (e.g. desert areas and mine spoils) and positively affect phytoremediation. They can influence processes (i.e. soil carbon sequestration) related to climate change. Last but not least, their belowground presence and diversity can positively affect the aboveground plant biodiversity and productivity. These roles played by AMF for the ecosystem functioning lead to consider them as key soil organisms. Therefore, every AMF aspect is extensively studied: from biological features, through biogeography and biodiversity, to phylogeny. [...]
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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