Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Ectomycorrhizal fungi and trees: brothers in arms in the face of anthropogenic activities and their consequences.

Abstract

The association between ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and trees is at the heart of forest ecosystems. Nowadays, this association is increasingly facing pressures resulting from anthropogenic activities, impacting the structure, biodiversity and functions of ECM fungal communities and their hosts. Here, we review some of the most common anthropogenic activities (i.e. enrichment of atmospheric carbon dioxide, increase of global temperature, atmospheric pollution, nitrogen deposition, use of pesticides, land use management, introduction of invasive species and biodiversity loss) affecting ECM fungi (i.e. species richness, abundance, taxonomy, production of spores and carpophores, and enzymatic activities) and their tree hosts. The review was conducted at different scales, from species to populations and ecosystems and whenever possible, example including boreal, temperate and tropical forests were reported. To conclude, we discussed about the present challenges hindering a better holistic understanding of our future forest ecosystems hosting ECM fungi. Overall, climate change is expected to affect ECM fungi through an alteration of plant metabolism and spatial distribution of trees. Although industrial pollutants and pesticides effects remains less clear at large scale, N-deposition and/or fertilization could induce ECM shifts and alter nutrient cycling. Regarding other anthropogenic parameters (e.g. land use, invasive species), they may affect ECM fungal communities by impacting their diversity, abundance and richness.