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Mycorrhizal relationships in Lycophytes and Ferns


Lehnert, Marcus; Kessler, Michael (2016). Mycorrhizal relationships in Lycophytes and Ferns. Fern Gazette, 20(3):101-116.

Abstract

Mycorrhizae, i.e., symbiotic associations between fungi and plant roots, occur in about 80% of land plant species and have been shown to benefit both the fungus (carbon uptake) and plant (nutrient and water uptake, protection against pathogenic fungi). We here provide a brief overview of the state of knowledge of mycorrhization in ferns. Only about 62% of species studied to date have mycorrhizae, with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (mainly Glomeromycta) being the dominant partners, while other associations are made with ascomycetes and the so-called Dark Septate Endophytes. There is no clear phylogenetic signal in mycorrhization among ferns, with both basal (e.g., Anemiaceae, Gleicheniaceae, Cyatheaceae) and derived families (e.g., non-grammitid Polypodiaceae, Tectariaceae, Aspleniaceae) having <50% of species mycorrhizal. Ecologically, epiphytes have lower degrees of mycorrhization than terrestrial species, with aquatic taxa almost completely lacking mycorrhizae. This probably reflects the requirements of the fungi. There are no experimental studies on the benefits of mycorrhizae for ferns, but field experiments suggest that there is a fine balance between positive and negative effects, so that many fern species have disposed of the fungi either generally or facultatively. Much remains to be learnt about mycorrhization in ferns, especially in an evolutionary context in comparison with bryophytes and seed plants.

Abstract

Mycorrhizae, i.e., symbiotic associations between fungi and plant roots, occur in about 80% of land plant species and have been shown to benefit both the fungus (carbon uptake) and plant (nutrient and water uptake, protection against pathogenic fungi). We here provide a brief overview of the state of knowledge of mycorrhization in ferns. Only about 62% of species studied to date have mycorrhizae, with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (mainly Glomeromycta) being the dominant partners, while other associations are made with ascomycetes and the so-called Dark Septate Endophytes. There is no clear phylogenetic signal in mycorrhization among ferns, with both basal (e.g., Anemiaceae, Gleicheniaceae, Cyatheaceae) and derived families (e.g., non-grammitid Polypodiaceae, Tectariaceae, Aspleniaceae) having <50% of species mycorrhizal. Ecologically, epiphytes have lower degrees of mycorrhization than terrestrial species, with aquatic taxa almost completely lacking mycorrhizae. This probably reflects the requirements of the fungi. There are no experimental studies on the benefits of mycorrhizae for ferns, but field experiments suggest that there is a fine balance between positive and negative effects, so that many fern species have disposed of the fungi either generally or facultatively. Much remains to be learnt about mycorrhization in ferns, especially in an evolutionary context in comparison with bryophytes and seed plants.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:18 Jul 2016 09:00
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 10:10
Publisher:British Pteridological Society
ISSN:0308-0838
OA Status:Closed
Official URL:http://ebps.org.uk/publications/the-fern-gazette/fern-gazette-volume-20-part-3/

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