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Mycorrhizas in plant and fungal invasions

Invasions of alien species are a major driver of global change, of concern in both natural and managed ecosystems. Mycorrhizal fungi can determine the success or failure of plant invasions and shape the impacts of invasive plants on ecosystem function, as are invasive species in their own right. Research on linked plant-fungal invasions provides unique insights into mycorrhizal ecology, including the ecology of non-mycorrhizal and facultatively mycorrhizal plants, specificity between plants and fungi, interactions between mycorrhizal fungi and other biota, and effects of mycorrhizas on ecosystem functions. Notwithstanding this potential, there remain major gaps in our knowledge. Correct classification of the mycorrhizal status of plants, clear species concepts for fungi, and better knowledge of fungal species origins and distributions are essential to advancing the field. This session will cover multiple mycorrhizal types and their role in invasions, and highlight emerging mycorrhizal paradigms and critical research gaps in plant and fungal invasions.

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