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Rooting theories of plant community ecology in microbial interactions

Bever, J. D., Dickie, I. A., Facelli, E., Facelli, J. M., Klironomos, J., Moora, M., Rillig, M. C., Stock, W. D., Tibbett, M. ORCID: and Zobel, M. (2010) Rooting theories of plant community ecology in microbial interactions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 25 (8). pp. 468-478. ISSN 0169-5347

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.05.004


Predominant frameworks for understanding plant ecology have an aboveground bias that neglects soil micro-organisms. This is inconsistent with recent work illustrating the importance of soil microbes in terrestrial ecology. Microbial effects have been incorporated into plant community dynamics using ideas of niche modification and plant–soil community feedbacks. Here, we expand and integrate qualitative conceptual models of plant niche and feedback to explore implications of microbial interactions for understanding plant community ecology. At the same time we review the empirical evidence for these processes. We also consider common mycorrhizal networks, and propose that these are best interpreted within the feedback framework. Finally, we apply our integrated model of niche and feedback to understanding plant coexistence, monodominance and invasion ecology.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:42863

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