Introduction: Perspectives on Mycorrhizas and Soil Fertility

L. K. Abbott, Nancy Collins Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


Mycorrhizas operate at the nexus of biological, chemical, and physical processes that define soil fertility. Mycorrhizal fungi inhabit heterogeneous environments with highly variable conditions in soil and plant roots. Fungal taxa vary considerably in their niche requirements and responses to variation in resource availability and environmental conditions. Mycorrhizal fungi can influence and be influenced by soil fertility. Without careful management, especially related to soil amendments and disturbance, mycorrhizal contributions to soil fertility may be diminished. Appropriate strategies for management of mycorrhizas can be informed by resource stoichiometry. Plants benefit from mycorrhizal associations when their fungal partners help ameliorate resource limitation or provide other services such as protection from pathogens or herbivory. The dynamic nature of colonization of roots by diverse species of mycorrhizal fungi, and the wide range of functional responses by plants, present complex challenges for understanding all of the roles that mycorrhizas play in soil fertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMycorrhizal Mediation of Soil
Subtitle of host publicationFertility, Structure, and Carbon Storage
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128043837
ISBN (Print)9780128043127
StatePublished - 2017


  • Biological fertility
  • Chemical fertility
  • Management principles
  • Physical fertility
  • Resource stoichiometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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