Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Ecology


The hyphal network of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the soil: a potential key to a better understanding of ecosystems and the management of horticultural soils

This project is founded by the Leibnitz Gemeinschaft within the framework "PAKT für Forschung und Innovation"

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbiotic associations with most vascular land plants. The intraradical phase of these soil fungi proliferates inter- and intracellularly within the cortex of the host plant root, whereas the extraradical mycelium spreads around the root. The architecture of soil-grown mycelium has never been investigated in detail. Moreover, knowledge on the effects of soil animals on the symbiosis, in particular the fungal feeding fauna, is scarce. This project investigates these interactions at a long term field trial on organic and conventional farm management practices. Collembola are assessed as major fungal grazers and lipids are used as biochemical markers for trophic relationships.




field mycopakt



experimental field site

For deteils see here

The aim is to better predict the outcome of endomycorrhizae under different environmental conditions and/or grazing pressure by the soil fauna. Such information will promote the understanding of the ecological niches different AMF occupy in ecosystems and allow for a better management of AMF populations in agricultural and horticultural plant production systems.






PhD Student Christopher Ngosong at field work