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Fungal Functional Traits in a Changing World

Nov 25

Written by: SuperUser Account
11/25/2013 4:18 PM 

Symposium organized by the MSA Student Section 2013-2014

Functional traits determine where fungi can live, how they evolve, and what other organisms they interact with. Traits can be (micro- or macro-) morphological, such as spore and fruiting body shape, as well as ecological, such as drought-tolerance, virulence, and the ability to digest cellulose. Differences among fungal traits can influence ecosystem processes. From a molecular perspective, fungal functional genes have been identified and measured directly in communities. Investigating fungal traits will advance our understanding of pattern and function at different levels of organization (taxa, populations, communities, ecosystems).

This symposium discusses the evolution of selected traits and how key attributes of fungal taxa influence their environment and stress response. New trait databases have been launched to (1) centralize current knowledge on fungal traits, (2) document functional diversity, and (3) further develop the field of mycology.

List of speakers and titles of presentations

  1. Roger Koide, Brigham Young University, Department of Biology  --  Community structure and functional traits of ectomycorrhizal fungi
  2. Thomas Crowther, Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies  --  Direct and indirect effects of climate change on decomposer fungi
  3. Mia Maltz, University of California Irvine, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology  --  Biogeography and traits of fungal taxa in the Western Hemisphere
  4. Sara Branco, University of California Berkeley, Plant & Microbial Biology -- Fungi at a small-scale: spatial zonation of fungal assemblages around single trees
  5. Joshua R. Herr, Michigan State University. Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics -- Mining metagenomes for mycological relevance: Finding fungal functions within environmental samples
  6. Nathan Wilson, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory -- TraitBank: Mobilizing fungal trait data using the Encyclopedia of Life

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