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Global diversity and geography of soil fungi

Tedersoo, L and Bahram, M and Polme, S and Koljalg, U and Yorou, NS and Wijesundera, R and Villarreal Ruiz, L and Vasco-Palacios, AM and Pham, QT and Suija, A and Smith, ME and Sharp, C and Saluveer, E and Saitta, A and Rosas, M and Riit, T and Ratkowsky, D and Pritsch, K and Poldmaa, K and Piepenbring, M and Phosri, C and Peterson, M and Parts, K and Paertel, K and Otsing, E and Nouhra, E and Njouonkou, AL and Nilsson, RH and Morgado, LN and Mayor, J and May, TW and Majuakim, L and Lodge, DJ and Lee, SS and Larsson, K-H and Kohout, P and Hosaka, K and Hiiesalu, I and Henkel, TW and Harend, H and Guo, L-D and Greslebin, A and Grelet, G and Geml, J and Gates, G and Dunstan, W and Dunk, C and Drenkhan, R and Dearnaley, J and De Kesel, A and Tan, D and Chen, X and Buegger, F and Brearley, FQ and Bonito, G and Anslan, S and Abell, S and Abarenkov, K (2014) Global diversity and geography of soil fungi. Science, 346. ISSN 0036-8075

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Abstract

Fungi play major roles in ecosystem processes, but the determinants of fungal diversity and biogeographic patterns remain poorly understood. Using DNA metabarcoding data from hundreds of globally distributed soil samples, we demonstrate that fungal richness is decoupled from plant diversity. The plant-to-fungus richness ratio declines exponentially toward the poles. Climatic factors, followed by edaphic and spatial variables, constitute the best predictors of fungal richness and community composition at the global scale. Fungi show similar latitudinal diversity gradients to other organisms, with several notable exceptions. These findings advance our understanding of global fungal diversity patterns and permit integration of fungi into a general macroecological framework.

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