Spatial Organisation Of Soil Fungi

How fungi are organised at different spatial scales and the consequences of this for soil function
  • Karl Ritz

Filamentous fungi are unique and significant “spatial integrators” of soil systems. By virtue of their indeterminate and mycelial form, they are able to occupy large volumes of the soil matrix and influence a panoply of soil-based services that underpin the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. In this chapter, factors which affect the spatial organisation filamentous fungi are described and reviewed at the scale of the hypha, the mycelium, and the community. Environmental factors such as the architecture of the soil and the spatial distribution of nutrient resources play pivotal roles in determining the form and organisation of mycelia. Biotic interactions between fungi and other soil-dwelling organisms further pattern the fungal colonies and the resultant communities. Some of the consequences of such spatial organisation for soil function relate particularly to soil structural dynamics, biotic regulation of plant and microbial communities, and the transport of nutrient elements through the soil system. Keywords: fungi, environmental spatial heterogeneity, biotic interactions, nutrient cycling, nutrient transport, soil


Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Community Spatial Organisation Soil Biol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Ritz
    • 1
  1. 1.National Soil Resources InstituteCranfield UniversityUK

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