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Inter-plant communication through mycorrhizal networks mediates complex adaptive behaviour in plant communities

Gorzelak, M. A., Asay, A. K., Pickles, B. J. and Simard, S. W. (2015) Inter-plant communication through mycorrhizal networks mediates complex adaptive behaviour in plant communities. AoB Plants, 7. plv050. ISSN 2041-2851

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/aobpla/plv050

Abstract/Summary

Adaptive behaviour of plants, including rapid changes in physiology, gene regulation and defence response, can be altered when linked to neighbouring plants by a mycorrhizal network (MN). Mechanisms underlying the behavioural changes include mycorrhizal fungal colonization by the MN or interplant communication via transfer of nutrients, defence signals or allelochemicals. We focus this review on our new findings in ectomycorrhizal ecosystems, and also review recent advances in arbuscular mycorrhizal systems. We have found that the behavioural changes in ectomycorrhizal plants depend on environmental cues, the identity of the plant neighbour and the characteristics of the MN. The hierarchical integration of this phenomenon with other biological networks at broader scales in forest ecosystems, and the consequences we have observed when it is interrupted, indicate that underground ‘tree talk’ is a foundational process in the complex adaptive nature of forest ecosystems.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:48102
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Publisher Statement:Copyright for all articles published in AoB PLANTS is retained by the author(s), who grant a license to Oxford University Press to publish the article and identify itself as the publisher. For any reuse or distribution, users must include the copyright notice and make clear that the article is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

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