This week the Peay Lab is spread from sea to shining sea for two concurrent conferences: Mycological Society of America 2016 (Berkeley, CA) and the 101st Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Congratulations to attendees on their talks and posters—we are proud to have them representing our lab!
Kabir’s MSA talk, entitled “Dispersal influences fungal biodiversity at multiple spatial and genetic scales,” highlights the importance of dispersal as a critical ecological and evolutionary process shaping fungal biodiversity. Focusing on a range of spatial scales (from single root systems to the entire North American continent) and on multiple dimensions of diversity (taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional), Kabir’s talk integrates molecular evidence to highlight the importance of dispersal for understanding fungal biodiversity.
Marie’s ESA talk, given at the Mycorrhizal Fungi as Drivers and Modulators of Ecosystem Processes organized oral session, is entitled “Alternative stable states in soil mutualist communities and ecosystem function”. Marie is presenting results from her field study at Point Reyes National Seashore, CA, where she has worked on plant-microbe-ecosystem linkages in three dominant vegetation types (Baccharis pilularis, Pinus muricata, Ceanothus thyrsiflorus) and their distinct root mutualists.
Laura’s talk, “Strong evidence for plant-based choice and rewards in the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis,” will be given at MSA’s Choosing Partners & Diversity contributed talk session (which she is also moderating). Laura will present her work on pre- and post-interaction mechanisms for partner choice and reward in the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. Using microcosm studies of ectomycorrhizal hosts in symbiosis with model ectomycorrhizal fungi, Laura incorporates evidence from split root system culture and isotopic labeling to support the existence of both pre-interaction partner discrimination and post-interaction rewards in the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis.
Additionally, Peay Lab members will be presenting four posters at MSA:
- Nora’s poster, “Abiotic causes and consequences of coprophilous fungal succession on Tule Elk dung,” focuses on changes in nutrient composition during a time series experiment investigating coprophilous fungal succession, and the linkages between these abiotic changes and fungal communities.
- Ken’s poster presents work from his undergraduate honors thesis (in Biology). Entitled “Soil microbial community responses to long-term multifactorial global change in a California annual grassland ecosystem,” it summarizes Ken’s work on fungal and bacterial soil community change in response to full-factorial manipulation of nitrogen, CO2, temperature, and precipitation at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment.
- Nic’s poster focuses on his ongoing work towards an honors thesis in Earth Systems, and is entitled “A species based analysis of fungal communities in Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.” He will present current progress on his study, which investigates rhizosphere fungal communities associated with five different plant species at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.
- Gabriel, who is currently at the Department of Forest Mycology & Plant Pathology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, will present his poster “A survey of root-colonizing basidiomycete saprotrophs reveals formation of mantle and Hartig net-like structures.” Assaying over 200 basidiomycete fungi during his work at SLU, Gabriel reports mantle and Hartig net-like structures formed by saprotrophic fungi, a result which may provide a new vantage point from which to study the evolution of ectomycorrhizal symbiosis.
These posters and talks present a wide-ranging sample of current work in the Peay Lab. Stay tuned for more to come!