The vast majority of fungi are directly or indirectly associated with plants. They play key roles in decomposition and provide nutrients to 80% of all plants as fungal partners in mycorrhizal symbioses. These functions in nutrient cycling are fulfilled by species-rich communities in nearly all terrestrial ecosystems. The functional redundancy of fungal communities is in contrast to their highly variable taxonomic composition, which currently appears unpredictable. To elucidate the key drivers of community composition, I will discuss the mechanisms of fungal community assembly with a focus on abiotic and biotic filtering and priority effects. A meta’omics approach will be presented which allows for linking functional activity of co-occurring fungal sub-communities to ecosystems processes. Considering interdependencies within and diverging environmental demands among sub-communities may eventually improve predictability of fungal community composition.
- Habilitation Talk -
How to tackle nonlinear and disequilibrium responses in ecology and environmental research
New aspects of microbial sulfur cycling: from novel sulfate reducers to pyrite-forming microorganisms
Microbial storage compounds in soil: a neglected dimension of the carbon cycle