Plants mediate indirect ‘apparent’ effects between above-ground herbivores and below-ground mutualistic mycorrhizal fungi. The herbivore–plant–mycorrhiza continuum is further complicated because signals produced by plants in response to herbivores can be transmitted to other plants via shared fungal networks below ground. Insect herbivores, such as aphids, probably affect the functioning of mycorrhizal fungi by changing the supply of recent photosynthate from plants to mycorrhizas, whereas there is evidence that mycorrhizas affect aphid fitness by changing plant signalling pathways, rather than only through improved nutrition. New knowledge of the transfer of signals through fungal networks between plant species means we now need a better understanding of how this process occurs in relation to the feeding preferences of herbivores to shape plant community composition and herbivore behaviour in nature.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Current Opinion in Plant Biology|
|Early online date||17 Jul 2015|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2015|