Mycorrhizas, the symbiotic association between plant roots and nonpathogenic fungi, facilitate movement of nutrients to host plants in exchange of carbon. About 80–90 % of terrestrial plants are mycorrhizal, and only few higher plants do not form mycorrhizal associations, including some aquatic vascular plants and members of the conventional non-host families, such as Brassicaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Cyperaceae and Juncaceae. A wealth of valuable literature has emerged over the years on various aspects of the plant–mycorrhizal interactions from different perspectives across the globe. Particularly, in recent years, mycorrhizal research has undergone rapid expansion, and the intervention of various novel molecular tools and genomic approaches have led to some path-breaking insights into the evolution, physiology, function, community patterns and biogeography of mycorrhizal fungi. To make sense of these novel and ground-breaking dimensions of mycorrhizal research in concert with classical theories and applied aspects of mycorrhizas is a challenging discourse. Hence, the present book is a humble effort in this direction and is basically aimed at linking the past and present strides in mycorrhizal research to various global change elements, such as climate change, biological invasions, environmental extremism and ecological restoration. From a mycorrhizal perspective, some of these selective forces will tend to strengthen this symbiotic relationship while others may act to diffuse it. But from the host plant standpoint, mycorrhizal symbiosis is likely to play a pivotal role in their growth and performance under the various forces of global change. It is pertinent to mention that, though there are seven different types of mycorrhizas, the main focus of this book is on arbuscular mycorrhizas because of being most dominant and widespread association with more than 80 % of higher plants. The second chapter of this book provides a brief historical account of arbuscular mycorrhizas, followed by an overview of their evolution, biology and development. A brief account of identification and classification is also given in this chapter.
KeywordsMycorrhizal Fungus Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Ecological Restoration Mycorrhizal Symbiosis Mycorrhizal Association
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