Fungi use birds to colonize new territories

A publication authored by our team member Luis Silva has been attracting media attention. This work, a collaboration with the Center for Functional Ecology from the University of Coimbra, was published on New Phytologist, and shows for the first time that fungal hitchhikers use birds to colonize new territories with their plant partners.

For the study, the team collected numerous bird droppings. A total of 54 plant seedlings from six species emerged from 34 bird droppings. Some of the plants that germinated were already colonized by fungi–revealing that birds carry both plants and their fungal partners to new areas, often over long distances, in a transport mechanism that provides to plants that grow in symbiosis with fungi an advantage.

You can find the press release and the press articles in the links below:

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