Soil Fungi and Plant Invasions

October 7th, 2011

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and Alexii Cornel

Why are species rich native plant communities more resistant to weed invasion than species poor communities? Ylva and Alexii posted a note that describes the background and design of experiments they set up in collaboration with John Maron of the University of Montana that addresses this question. They seek to determine the influence of pathogenic fungi and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on native plant growth. Click here to see the description of this experiement.

About the Author

Ylva Lekberg

Ylva graduated from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences with a M.Sc. in Biology and Horticulture in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Penn State University in 2004. She received the Alumni Association Dissertation Award for her work in agroecology and subsistence farming in Sub-Saharan Africa. Post-doctoral positions at Montana State University and later at Copenhagen University as a Marie Curie Fellow have allowed her to explore the role of mycorrhiza, a root-fungus symbiosis, for geothermal plants in Yellowstone National Park and coastal grasslands in Denmark. Her research has been published in journals such as Ecology, Journal of Ecology and New Phytologist.

Ylva currently works at MPG Ranch as a soil ecologist. She explores the role of mycorrhiza in the success of exotic plants and examines the use of specific pathogens to combat invasions. In her spare time Ylva mountain-bikes, plays soccer, and maintains a large vegetable garden.