Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil

Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil

Fertility, Structure, and Carbon Storage

1st Edition - November 3, 2016

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  • Authors: Nancy Johnson, Catherine Gehring, Jan Jansa
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128043837
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128043127

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Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil: Fertility, Structure, and Carbon Storage offers a better understanding of mycorrhizal mediation that will help inform earth system models and subsequently improve the accuracy of global carbon model predictions. Mycorrhizas transport tremendous quantities of plant-derived carbon below ground and are increasingly recognized for their importance in the creation, structure, and function of soils. Different global carbon models vary widely in their predictions of the dynamics of the terrestrial carbon pool, ranging from a large sink to a large source. This edited book presents a unique synthesis of the influence of environmental change on mycorrhizas across a wide range of ecosystems, as well as a clear examination of new discoveries and challenges for the future, to inform land management practices that preserve or increase below ground carbon storage.

Key Features

  • Synthesizes the abundance of research on the influence of environmental change on mycorrhizas across a wide range of ecosystems from a variety of leading international researchers
  • Focuses on the specific role of mycorrhizal fungi in soil processes, with an emphasis on soil development and carbon storage, including coverage of cutting-edge methods and perspectives
  • Includes a chapter in each section on future avenues for further study


Educators and researchers interested in biological soil processes. This will include professors at academic institutions and researchers within industry and governmental agencies

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Mycorrhizas: At the Interface of Biological, Soil, and Earth Sciences

    • 1.1. Successful Coexistence of Plants and Fungi
    • 1.2. Mycorrhizal Research: Past, Present, and Future
    • 1.3. Goals and Objectives

    Section I. Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil Development

    Chapter 2. Mycorrhizal Symbioses and Pedogenesis Throughout Earth’s History

    • 2.1. The Importance of Reciprocal Effects of Plant–Mycorrhiza–Soil Interactions in the Evolution and Assembly of Terrestrial Ecosystems
    • 2.2. Plants and Mycorrhizas as Agents of Pedogenesis: Coupling Plant Photosynthate Energy to the Actions of Fungal Mycelial Networks
    • 2.3. Evolutionary Origins of Plants and Mycorrhizas
    • 2.4. Coevolution of Plants, Mycorrhizas, and Photosynthate-Driven Weathering and Pedogenesis
    • 2.5. Feedback Between Plant-Driven Pedogenesis, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, and the Evolution of Plants and Mycorrhizal Functioning
    • 2.6. Conclusions

    Chapter 3. Role of Mycorrhizal Symbiosis in Mineral Weathering and Nutrient Mining from Soil Parent Material

    • 3.1. Introduction
    • 3.2. Mechanisms of Mineral Weathering
    • 3.3. Fungal Weathering in the Laboratory
    • 3.4. From Laboratory to Field
    • 3.5. Conclusions and Future Research Directions

    Chapter 4. Mycorrhizal Interactions With Climate, Soil Parent Material, and Topography

    • 4.1. Introduction
    • 4.2. Mycorrhizal Interactions With Climate
    • 4.3. Mycorrhizal Interactions With Parent Material
    • 4.4. Mycorrhizal Interactions With Topography
    • 4.5. Conclusions

    Chapter 5. Mycorrhizas Across Successional Gradients

    • 5.1. Succession
    • 5.2. Succession in Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities
    • 5.3. Habitat Drivers
    • 5.4. Plant Drivers
    • 5.5. Fungal Drivers
    • 5.6. Interacting Drivers

    Section II. Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil Fertility

    Chapter 6. Introduction: Perspectives on Mycorrhizas and Soil Fertility

    • 6.1. Introduction
    • 6.2. Contributions of Mycorrhizal Fungi to Soil Fertility
    • 6.3. Soil Fertility Influences Mycorrhizal Fungi
    • 6.4. Principles for Management of Mycorrhizal Fungi for Soil Fertility
    • 6.5. Looking Forward

    Chapter 7. Fungal and Plant Tools for the Uptake of Nutrients in Arbuscular Mycorrhizas: A Molecular View

    • 7.1. Introduction
    • 7.2. Nitrogen Nutrition Within Arbuscular Mycorrhizas
    • 7.3. Phosphate Transport in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis
    • 7.4. Sulfur Metabolism and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis
    • 7.5. From Root to Shoot and Back: Evidence for a Systemic Signaling and Gene Regulation in Mycorrhizal Plants
    • 7.6. Perspectives and Conclusions

    Chapter 8. Accessibility of Inorganic and Organic Nutrients for Mycorrhizas

    • 8.1. Introduction
    • 8.2. Movement of Phosphate and Nitrate Ions to Roots
    • 8.3. Inorganic Phosphorus and Nitrogen Acquisition by Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi
    • 8.4. Inorganic Phosphorus and Nitrogen Acquisition by Ectomycorrhizal Fungi
    • 8.5. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Organic Nutrient Forms
    • 8.6. Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Organic Nutrient Forms
    • 8.7. Conclusions

    Chapter 9. Mycorrhizas as Nutrient and Energy Pumps of Soil Food Webs: Multitrophic Interactions and Feedbacks

    • 9.1. Introduction
    • 9.2. Mycorrhizas and Saprotrophs
    • 9.3. Mycorrhizas and Herbivores
    • 9.4. Mycorrhizas and Fungivores
    • 9.5. Mycorrhizas and Bacterivores
    • 9.6. Mycorrhizas and Higher Trophic Levels
    • 9.7. The Way Forward

    Chapter 10. Implications of Past, Current, and Future Agricultural Practices for Mycorrhiza-Mediated Nutrient Flux

    • 10.1. Introduction
    • 10.2. Agriculture in the Past
    • 10.3. Modern Agriculture
    • 10.4. Agriculture in the Future
    • 10.5. Conclusion

    Chapter 11. Integrating Ectomycorrhizas Into Sustainable Management of Temperate Forests

    • 11.1. Introduction
    • 11.2. Harvesting Systems
    • 11.3. Stand Reestablishment
    • 11.4. Seedling Production
    • 11.5. Stand Management
    • 11.6. Conclusions

    Chapter 12. Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil Fertility Amidst Nitrogen Eutrophication and Climate Change

    • 12.1. Introduction
    • 12.2. Mechanisms of Mycorrhizal Nutrition and Stoichiometry
    • 12.3. Nutrient Uptake and Mycorrhizal Fungi: the Basics
    • 12.4. Mycorrhizas and Global Change
    • 12.5. Mycorrhizas and Nitrogen Deposition
    • 12.6. What is Needed? A Stoichiometric Challenge

    Section III. Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil Structure And Soil-Plant Water Relations

    Chapter 13. Introduction: Mycorrhizas and Soil Structure, Moisture, and Salinity

    • 13.1. Introduction
    • 13.2. Soil Structure
    • 13.3. Soil Salinity
    • 13.4. Soil Moisture

    Chapter 14. Mycorrhizas and Soil Aggregation

    • 14.1. Introduction: Soil Aggregation, Its Component Processes, and Significance of Soil Structure
    • 14.2. Evidence for Involvement of Different Types of Mycorrhizas in Soil Aggregation
    • 14.3. Mechanisms of Soil Aggregation
    • 14.4. Relative Importance of MycorrhizaS
    • 14.5. Avenues and Needs for Future Research

    Chapter 15. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Salinity

    • 15.1. Introduction
    • 15.2. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Salt Stress
    • 15.3. Salinity in Combination with Drought and Warming
    • 15.4. Studies of Salinity Responses of Indigenous Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi
    • 15.5. Plant Root Properties, Mycorrhizal Fungi and Salinity Stress
    • 15.6. Signaling, Mycorrhizal Fungi, and Salinity Stress
    • 15.7. Tripartite Interactions and Salinity Stress
    • 15.8. Agronomical Consequences of Using Mycorrhizal Fungi in Saline Fields
    • 15.9. Conclusions and Future Perspectives

    Chapter 16. Mycorrhizas, Drought, and Host-Plant Mortality

    • 16.1. Introduction
    • 16.2. Mycorrhizas, Plants, and Drought
    • 16.3. Drought-Related Host Mortality and Consequences for Mycorrhizas

    Chapter 17. Soil Water Retention and Availability as Influenced by Mycorrhizal Symbiosis: Consequences for Individual Plants, Communities, and Ecosystems

    • 17.1. Introduction
    • 17.2. Influence of Vegetation on Soil Hydraulic Properties
    • 17.3. Mycorrhizal Fungal Influence on Soil Hydraulic Properties: Review of Published Evidence
    • 17.4. Mycorrhizal Fungal Role in Hydraulic Redistribution and Hydraulic Connectivity in the Vadose Zone
    • 17.5. Mycorrhizal Fungal Role in Reducing Soil Erosion
    • 17.6. Consequences for Individual Plants, Communities, and Ecosystems, and Implications for Terrestrial Ecosystems Response to Global Change
    • 17.7. Knowledge Gaps, Research Needs, and Future Research Directions

    Chapter 18. Mycorrhizal Networks and Forest Resilience to Drought

    • 18.1. Introduction
    • 18.2. Forest Resilience
    • 18.3. The Role of Mycorrhizas in Water Uptake
    • 18.4. Mycorrhizal Networks and Their Role in Hydraulic Redistribution and Drought Responses
    • 18.5. Rooting Depth
    • 18.6. The Role of Drought in Global Forest Decline
    • 18.7. Climate Change Projections for Drought Effects on Forests and the Domino Effect
    • 18.8. Incorporating Mycorrhizal Networks in Forest Management
    • 18.9. Knowledge Gaps and Future Research Directions
    • 18.10. Conclusions

    Section IV. Mycorrhizal Mediation of Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes and Soil Carbon Storage

    Chapter 19. Introduction: Mycorrhizas and the Carbon Cycle

    • 19.1. The Carbon Cycle
    • 19.2. The Key Role of the SOM in Soil Processes
    • 19.3. Position of Mycorrhizal Fungi Within the Soil Food Webs
    • 19.4. Mycorrhizal Symbiosis and the Soil C Cycling
    • 19.5. Functional Diversity in Mycorrhizal Symbioses with Respect to C Cycling
    • 19.6. Open Questions, Experimental Challenges

    Chapter 20. Carbon and Energy Sources of Mycorrhizal Fungi: Obligate Symbionts or Latent Saprotrophs?

    • 20.1. Introduction
    • 20.2. Two Concepts of Saprotrophy
    • 20.3. Phylogenetic Evidence
    • 20.4. Enzymatic Evidence
    • 20.5. Carbon Signatures
    • 20.6. Ectomycorrhizal Fungi Involved
    • 20.7. Nonenzymatic Nutrient Mining by Ectomycorrhizal Fungi
    • 20.8. Stoichiometric Considerations
    • 20.9. Modeling Studies
    • 20.10. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi
    • 20.11. Saprotrophic Capabilities of Ectomycorrhizal Fungi: The Way Forward

    Chapter 21. Magnitude, Dynamics, and Control of the Carbon Flow to Mycorrhizas

    • 21.1. Introduction
    • 21.2. How Does the Physiology and Magnitude of Plant-to-Fungus C Flow Depend on Mycorrhizal Functional Group?
    • 21.3. How Does C Availability (CO2 and Shading) Influence the CARBON Flux Between Plant and Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities?
    • 21.4. To What Extent Is the CARBON Flow between Plant and Symbiotic Fungal Partners Regulated by Reciprocal Nutrient Exchange?
    • 21.5. Conclusions

    Chapter 22. Trading Carbon Between Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Their Hyphae-Associated Microbes

    • 22.1. Mycorrhizas and Hyphae-Associated Microbes
    • 22.2. Carbon Allocation From Mycorrhizal Fungi to the Hyphae-Associated Microbes in the Hyphosphere
    • 22.3. Involvement of the Hyphae-Associated Microbes in Nutrient Cycling and Carbon Transformation in the Hyphosphere
    • 22.4. Dynamics of the Mycorrhizosphere Associations Under Fluctuating Environmental Conditions
    • 22.5. Unresolved Questions on Trading Carbon and Nutrient Between Mycorrhizas and Hyphae-Associated Microbes

    Chapter 23. Immobilization of Carbon in Mycorrhizal Mycelial Biomass and Secretions

    • 23.1. Introduction
    • 23.2. Mycelial Biomass Production and Turnover
    • 23.3. Secretions of Mycorrhizal Mycelia
    • 23.4. Necromass Properties and Decomposition
    • 23.5. Incorporation Into Stable Carbon
    • 23.6. Conclusions

    Chapter 24. Mycorrhizal Interactions With Saprotrophs and Impact on Soil Carbon Storage

    • 24.1. Introduction
    • 24.2. Mycorrhizal Fungi As a Source of C in Soil
    • 24.3. Competition for Nutrients and Habitat
    • 24.4. Interactions Among Mycorrhizal Fungi, Soil Fauna, and Soil Organic Carbon
    • 24.5. Conclusion

    Chapter 25. Biochar—Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Interaction in Temperate Soils

    • 25.1. Introduction
    • 25.2. Biochar and Mycorrhizas
    • 25.3. Biochar Influences Mycorrhizal Colonization via Its Effects on Soil Properties
    • 25.4. Biochar Influences Plant Response to Mycorrhizal Colonization via Its Impact on the Level of Plant Stress
    • 25.5. Conclusions

    Chapter 26. Integrating Mycorrhizas Into Global Scale Models: A Journey Toward Relevance in the Earth’s Climate System

    • 26.1. Introduction
    • 26.2. Existing Model Frameworks
    • 26.3. Critical Mycorrhizal Functions for Terrestrial Biosphere Models
    • 26.4. Mycorrhizal Fungi as Trait Integrators
    • 26.5. Challenges Moving Forward
    • 26.6. Conclusion

Product details

  • No. of pages: 526
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2016
  • Published: November 3, 2016
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128043837
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128043127

About the Authors

Nancy Johnson

Nancy Collins Johnson has been a professor of soil ecology at Northern Arizona University since 1997. She earned a PhD in Ecology and Plant Pathology from the University of Minnesota (with David Tilman) and a MS degree in Botany from the University of Wisconsin. Johnson and her students study interactions among communities of plants and soil organisms in natural and human managed ecosystems throughout the world. They have discovered that mycorrhizas and soil communities are sensitive to global change factors and they are seeking first principles to understand these responses. These studies are important because mycorrhizal symbioses influence plant community composition, soil stability, and belowground carbon storage.

Affiliations and Expertise

Regents’ Professor, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, AZ, USA

Catherine Gehring

Professor Catherine Gehring works in the department of Biological Sciences and Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research at Northern Arizona University The Gehring Lab conducts research to understand the functioning of fungi in natural and managed systems. Of particular interest is how abiotic and biotic factors interact to affect the abundance and community composition of plant-associated fungi and how changes in these parameters then feedback to affect the performance of host plants. Current projects explore the influence of host plant genetics on fungal abundance and diversity; the impact of climate change on interactions among host plants, fungi, and insects; and the belowground mechanisms by which invasive plants may harm native plants.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, and Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, Northern Arizona University, AZ, USA

Jan Jansa

Jan Jansa studied biology at Charles University in Prague and agricultural sciences at ETH Zurich, where he also obtained PhD in 2002. He also worked at ETH Zurich and the University of Adelaide (with Sally E. Smith). Jansa currently leads the Laboratory of Fungal Biology at the Institute of Microbiology in Prague. His aim is the quantification of the involvement of mycorrhizal symbiosis in the turnover of soil organic matter, fluxes of mineral nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from the soil to plants and carbon from the plants to the soil. Together with his team, he studies the exchange of mineral nutrients for carbon between the symbiotic partners under spatially and temporarily variable conditions, including light deprivation, using a suite of isotopic and molecular techniques

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior researcher, Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic

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  • EmmaJansson Fri Dec 27 2019

    Layman’s review

    Im not an expert in the field but have found this book very interesting! Contains contributions from a wide range of scientists.