Toward modeling the resistance and resilience of "below-ground" fungal communities: a mechanistic and trait-based approach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)


The role of fungi in shaping ecosystems is well evidenced and there is growing recognition of their importance among scientists and the general public. Establishing and separating the role of key local (soil chemical, biological, and physical properties) and global (climate, dispersal limitation) drivers in fungal community structure and functioning is currently a source of frustration to mycologists. The quest to determine niche processes and environmental characteristics shaping fungal community structure, known to be important for plant and animal communities, is proving difficult, resulting in the acknowledgment that niche neutral processes (climate, dispersal limitations) may dominate. The search for predictable patterns in fungal community structure may have been restricted as the “appropriate” scales at which to measure community structure and characterize the environment have not been fully determined yet, and the focus on taxonomy makes it difficult to link environmental characteristics to fungal traits.

While key determinants of microbial community composition have been uncovered for some functional groups, the differential response of functional groups is largely unknown. Before we can truly understand what drives the development of microbial community structure, an understanding of the autecology of major fungal taxa and how they interact with their immediate environment (from the micro- up to kilometer scale) is urgently needed. Furthermore, key information and empirical data is missing at the microscale due to experimental difficulties in mapping this heterogeneous and opaque environment. We therefore present a framework that would help generate this much-needed empirical data and information at the microscale, together with modeling approaches to link the spatial and temporal scales. The latter is important as we propose that there is much to be gained by linking our understanding of fungal community responses across scales, in order to develop species and community–environment–function predictive models.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in applied microbiology
EditorsSima Sariaslani, Geoffrey Michael Gadd
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages44
ISBN (Print)9780128022511
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2015


  • Fungal community dynamics
  • Fungal traits
  • Modeling approaches
  • Resilience
  • Resistance


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward modeling the resistance and resilience of "below-ground" fungal communities: a mechanistic and trait-based approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this