Mapping the potential mycorrhizal associations of the conterminous United States of America

Randy Swaty, Haley M. Michael, Ron Deckert, Catherine A Gehring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Mycorrhizal associations are recognized as key symbioses in a changing world, yet our understanding of their geographic distribution and temporal dynamics remains limited. We combined data on mycorrhizal associations and historical dominant vegetation to map the pre-European Settlement mycorrhizal associations of the conterminous United States of America (USA). As a demonstration of the map's utility, we estimated changes in mycorrhizal associations due to urbanization, agriculture and the establishment of non-native species in two regions. We found that the conterminous USA was dominated by vegetation associated with arbuscular mycorrhizas, but that ∼40% of vegetation types included multiple mycorrhizal associations. Shifting land use to agriculture and the introduction of non-native species has disproportionately affected ectomycorrhizas, as did urbanization. These preliminary results set a baseline for mycorrhizal biogeography of the USA and illustrate how synthesis of available data can help us understand the impact of anthropogenic changes on an important mutualism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFungal Ecology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 25 2016



  • Anthropogenic change
  • Geographic distribution
  • Mutualism
  • Mycorrhiza
  • Pre-European settlement vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Ecology

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