Untangling factors underlying distribution of forest mycoheterotrophic species: combining theoretical and experimental approaches

Name: Untangling factors underlying distribution of forest mycoheterotrophic species: combining theoretical and experimental approaches
Researchers: Knappová Jana (member in research team)
Münzbergová Zuzana (co-researcher)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2014
Realization to: 2016
Summary: Factors driving species distribution patterns are a key question of current ecological research. While it is theoretically known that species distribution may be limited by seed production, seed dispersal ability or habitat conditions, the specific drivers of distribution are not known in many systems. Challenging systems for these studies are plants, which depend on mycorrhizal fungi for germination and subsequent growth. Up-to-date knowledge on the relative importance of different types of limitations in such plants is rather poor, including extent to which the fungal distribution presents a critical factor. Using four forest orchids differing in fungal symbionts and demands for limestone substrate, we aim to study drivers of their distribution by detailed analyses of habitat demands and distribution patterns in relation to dispersal ability and population genetic structure. This will be combined with seed sowing in occupied and unoccupied habitats and analysis of mycorrhizal fungi in soil using next-generation sequencing to untangle influence of diverse environmental predictors.

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