Review: Mycorrhizal ecology and evolution: the past, present and the future

There are about 50,000 fungal species that form mycorrhizal associations with about 250,000 plant species. These associations significantly increase plant productivity by increasing nutrient uptake, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, although with a considerable carbon cost to plants. Van der Heijden et al. review the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizal associations, focusing on their biodiversity and contributions to ecosystem nutrient cycling. The authors stress that although these systems are often studied as one plant / one fungus, they commonly exist as networks of many individuals and species. Finally, the authors describe how mycorrhizal genomics have impacted our understanding of these associations, as well as key unanswered questions. New Phytol. 10.1111/nph.13288

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