Modelling the environmental and soil factors that shape the niches of two common arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal families

Stavros D. Veresoglou, Tancredi Caruso, Matthias C. Rillig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, a group of obligate symbionts of terrestrial plants, have a global distribution range. Yet, we lack concrete synthetic and empirical evidence that could reveal whether distinct ecological niches are distributed across Glomeromycota through determining linkages between environmental factors and the distribution of these taxa.

We have modelled the probability of occurrence of Gigasporaceae and Acaulosporaceae as a function of candidate environmental factors. These families are among the most common but non-ubiquitous taxa in AM-driven ecosystems. We have constructed our database using studies with a global scope and carried out our analysis through a logistic regression approach.

The probability of occurrence of Acaulosporacae increased in acidic environments and soils with high bulk density. By contrast, a key factor that affected probability of occurrence of Gigasporaceae was precipitation.


Through the analysis of an unprecedentedly large amount of data we could infer that niche processes mediate occurrence of a group of fungi at scales broader than the local scale of the individual studies gathered in the analysed dataset. Knowledge of well-supported niche features could enhance discovery of new taxa of AM fungi, and would facilitate development of study designs with greater ecological realism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-518
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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