Integrating mycorrhizas into plant community ecology
Mycorrhizal fungi are ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems and have demonstrable effects on the outcomes of plant-plant interactions, on the effects of trophic interactions involving plants, and on the diversity and productivity of plant communities. These observations justify the inclusion of mycorrhizal fungi into theoretical frameworks of plant community ecology, but there has been limited progress on this front. One reason for this is that phenomenological observations of mycorrhizal effects are difficult to integrate into these frameworks without a mechanistic understanding of the processes underlying these observations. This session will focus on recent research into the roles that mycorrhizal fungi play in dynamical aspects of plant communities. An aim, in particular, in this session is to disseminate research and to facilitate a dialogue that can enhance the uptake of mycorrhizal research into the advancement of plant ecology in general.