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:
- Stowaway fungi hitch a ride with birds to be with their plant partners – EurekAlert! 24 jan 2019
- Estudo conclui que fungos ‘andam à boleia’ das aves para colonizar territórios – Diário de Notícias 30 jan 2019 (in Portuguese)
- Estudo mostra que aves transportam fungos para colonizar novos territórios – Semanário V 30 jan 2019 (in Portuguese)
- Piscos e toutinegras dão boleia a fungos “amigos” das plantas – Wilder 30 jan 2019 (in Portuguese)
- Estudo conclui que fungos “andam à boleia” das aves para colonizar territórios – SIC Notícias 30 jan 2019 (in Portuguese)
- Fungos andam à boleia das aves para colonizar novos territórios – TSF 30 jan 2019 (in Portuguese)
- Descoberta de fungos “à boleia” das aves para colonizar novos territórios – A Semana 31 jan 2019 (in Portuguese)