Global assessment of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus diversity reveals very low endemism

J. Davison, M. Moora, M. Öpik, A. Adholeya, L. Ainsaar, A. Bâ, S. Burla, A. G. Diedhiou, I. Hiiesalu, T. Jairus, N. C. Johnson, A. Kane, K. Koorem, M. Kochar, C. Ndiaye, M. Pärtel, Reier, Saks, R. Singh, M. VasarM. Zobel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

579 Scopus citations


The global biogeography of microorganisms remains largely unknown, in contrast to the well-studied diversity patterns of macroorganisms. We used arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus DNA from 1014 plant-root samples collected worldwide to determine the global distribution of these plant symbionts. We found that AM fungal communities reflected local environmental conditions and the spatial distance between sites. However, despite AM fungi apparently possessing limited dispersal ability, we found 93% of taxa on multiple continents and 34% on all six continents surveyed. This contrasts with the high spatial turnover of other fungal taxa and with the endemism displayed by plants at the global scale. We suggest that the biogeography of AM fungi is driven by unexpectedly efficient dispersal, probably via both abiotic and biotic vectors, including humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-973
Number of pages4
Issue number6251
StatePublished - Aug 28 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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