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In-situ mycorrhizal function – how do we get relevant data from a messy world?

This workshop will bring together conference participants with an interest in working in field settings. Field systems are “messy” and can yield equally messy data. The aim is to share approaches to designing and implementing field studies that identify and quantify mycorrhizal function, beyond proxies such as plant biomass accumulation or community change. There will be “flash talks” of 5 minutes to give examples of various approaches, or that highlight particular issues. Structured group discussion will follow, allowing participants to draw on the expertise in the room. The discussion will focus on the following areas:

  1. Definitions: what key variables define mycorrhizal function?
  2. Measurement: What measurements do we need? Are there general measures that can be applied across all mycorrhizal associations? How do we move beyond proxies to direct measurement of function?
  3. Horizon Scanning: What are the barriers to determining function? Can we learn from other disciplines? What technologies are there that we could seek to adopt?

The close of the workshop will be a synthesis of the event. We aim to prepare an open access perspectives paper to encourage debate on this topic within the mycorrhizal research community beyond the conference close.

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