Fungi in Ecosystems

Poster Disciplines/Format:
Final Report (Required, .pdf format only) : 
John Hobbie
Robert Sinsabaugh

One of the five core areas of LTER research is “Movement of Organic Matter” with an explanation that says “The entire ecosystem relies on the recycling of organic matter (and the nutrients it contains), including dead plants, animals, and other organisms. Decomposition of organic matter and its movement through the ecosystem is an important component of the food web.” The bacterial community’s composition is finally being well-studied but only a little attention is being paid to the fungal community. J.M. Lynch noted that “Fungi are probably at least as important as bacteria in soil.” At the Arctic LTER site the biomass of fungi in the soil is 100 times greater than that of bacteria according to John Moore (Short Grass Steppe).
Current work within the LTER network includes expanding the concept of “mycorrhizal” fungi to include dark septate Ascomycetes, quantifying the role of fungi in N translocation and biogeochemistry, investigating the role of plant-fungi interaction in plant competition and documenting fungal diversity in relation to changing climate.
To promote new cross-site collaborations and comparisons, we propose to hold a working group session at the ASM that would accomplish the following:
1. Identify the LTER scientists interested in any aspect of fungal research from taxonomy to function.
2. Learn about fungal-oriented projects at LTER research sites through short reports.
3. Discuss possible future steps for cross-site research and decide on any follow ups.
The report of the meeting would include a useful list of scientists interested in fungal research, a brief description of projects, and a plan for action for the future.

Session Info

Working Group Session 4

Tue, 09/15/2009 - 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Reusch Auditorium Dodge