Microbial Ecology

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 289–292 | Cite as

Fungal Decision to Exploit or Explore Depends on Growth Rate

  • Stavros D. VeresoglouEmail author
  • Dongwei Wang
  • Diana R. Andrade-Linares
  • Stefan Hempel
  • Matthias C. Rillig

Biomass allocation decisions in sessile organisms have significant fitness consequences and are thus subject to evolutionary selection. Most studies focus on allocation decisions in plants. For example, allometric partition of plant biomass to roots and shoot is regulated by site fertility [9] and symbiotic associations [15]. Relative investment to primary and secondary metabolism is another allocation trade-off [11]. Plant exploitation strategies of local soil-nutrient patches have seen extensive study; roots may either proliferate in patches at the risk of not finding other patches or explore the soil interface at a risk of underexploiting existing known patches [8]. Finally, authors have tried to explain patch-exploitation strategies based on optimal foraging theory [10].

Filamentous fungi are an underexplored group of eukaryotic, modular organisms. They are sessile and optimize their growth strategies chemotactically [5]. A group of ubiquitous mutualistic fungi, Glomeromycota,...


Fungal ecology Microbial model systems Modular organisms Optimal foraging theory Phylogenetically independent contrasts 

Supplementary material

248_2017_1053_MOESM1_ESM.doc (581 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 581 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für BiologieFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB)BerlinGermany

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