Linking pattern and process in mycorrhizas at the European scale

Workshop held to evaluate the state-of-the-art and generate a new research programme on the effects of human-accelerated environmental change upon forest mycorrhizas and forest condition

News from Forest Research: March 2009

Workshop delegates

In boreal and temperate forests nearly all roots form mycorrhizas. These intimate fungus-root symbioses play a crucial role by controlling nutrient acquisition, drought tolerance and disease resistance of trees.

The aims of this workshop were to evaluate the state-of-the-art and generate a new research programme on the effects of human-accelerated environmental change upon forest mycorrhizas and forest condition. The participants included senior government forestry personnel and diverse leading academics with relevant expertise.

Reaching for landscape, regional and continental scales in mycorrhizal research has been repeatedly advocated in recent publications; e.g., "The price of not acting now will be a lost opportunity to define baseline species distribution data in the face of rapid global change" (Lilleskov & Parrent 2007).

Technical difficulties have now been largely removed by high-throughput technologies and access to a network of permanent plots greatly minimises logistic constraints.

This workshop catalysed these opportunities into the first mycorrhizal study at the biome level. The first part of the meeting synthesized numerous local studies and the second part crafted a research programme suited to answering three fundamental questions:

  • Are there dominant mycorrhizas in Europe?
  • Do they differ in geographic range? 
  • How do they respond to environmental change?

Workshop summary (PDF-81KB)

Workshop presentations (PDF-13MB)

Workshop dates, organisers and delegates

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This workshop was held on the 4th to 6th February 2009 at the Centre for Population Biology at Silwood Park, Ascot, England with a field excersion to the Alice Holt Research Forest in Farnham.

The workshop was organised by Dr. Nadia Barsoum (Forest Research) and Dr. Martin Bidartondo (Imperial Colleg Lodon).

Delegates were:

  • Erik Lilleskov - USDA Forest Service
  • David Read - Sheffield University
  • Martina Peter - Swiss Federal Reseach Institute
  • Håvard Kauserud - Oslo University
  • Isabella Børja - Norwegian Forest & Landscape Institute
  • Pasi Rautio - Finnish Forest Research Institute
  • Lars-Ola Nilsson - University of Copenhagen
  • Lars Vesterdal - University of Copenhagen
  • Mick Crawley - Imperial College
  • Nadia Barsoum - Forest Research
  • Martin Bidartondo - Imperial College/Kew Gardens
  • Filipa Cox - Imperial College/Kew Gardens
  • Kath Tubby - Forest Research

Related research

Long term monitoring of forest ecosystems              

          

What's of interest

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This and other news stories can be found in the April 2009 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.

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