Sep 11 2018

E&E Seminar: Mycorrhizal dispersal – theoretical and experimental approaches for predicting community structure by Bala Chaudhary, DePaul University

September 11, 2018

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


4289 SEL


950 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60612

Plant performance is, in part, a function of the plant microbiome. Because the outcome of plant-microbe interactions can vary as microbial communities shift, understanding the factors that influence microbial community structure across scales is pivotal to our understanding of the functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems. For microorganisms, community assembly mechanisms are considered to be primarily deterministic (e.g. niche-based) with no limitations to dispersal (i.e. “everything is everywhere, but the environment selects”). Yet, for microbes, dispersal remains a missing piece of the puzzle in our understanding of the mechanisms that generate large-scale patterns in microbial biogeography. In arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, dispersal is perceived as highly limited, but few empirical studies have been conducted to examine the role of dispersal in structuring AM fungal communities at various scales. We are conducting field and laboratory-based research to link wind-dispersal capabilities to fungal traits to build predictive frameworks for variation in dispersal capability among taxa. This work aims to improve our understanding of AM fungal community assembly and biogeography, and inform practical applications regarding the need for inoculation in ecological restoration.


Suzanne Harrison

Date posted

Jul 26, 2018

Date updated

Aug 31, 2018