March 16 2017

4:00 pm 158 HH

This seminar is sponsored by EEB and QCB

Sydney Glassman
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Irvine

Mechanisms of assembly in soil fungal communities


Microbial symbionts are critical drivers of processes ranging from human digestion to plant nutrition to ecosystem function. Despite their role in shaping plant communities, little is known about the composition and distribution of microorganisms, including most fungi. For example, for the last 20 years microbial ecologists have debated whether microbial communities are dispersal limited. It is now clear the microorganisms experience dispersal limitation, yet we are still in the infancy of understanding microbial dispersal, despite its critical contribution to the generation and maintenance of microbial diversity. My research thus addresses a critical gap in microbial ecology, which is to understand the drivers of fungal diversity, in particular the role of dispersal and disturbance in shaping fungal communities. For this talk I focus on two key questions central to fungal diversity: the role of dispersal in fungal community assembly, which I test using isolated tree “islands” in Yosemite National Park, and the response of fungi to catastrophic disturbances, which I test with the 2013 California Rim Fire. To do so, I capitalized on recent advances in sequencing and bioinformatics, as well as advances in multivariate statistical techniques, which have created an unprecedented opportunity to apply traditional ecological theory to fungi. At the end I will briefly discuss my future research directions, examining the largely untapped field of fungal-bacterial interactions.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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