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Towards management of invasive ectomycorrhizal fungi

Dickie, Ian A., Nuñez, Martin A., Pringle, Anne, Lebel, Teresa, Tourtellot, Samuel G., Johnston, Peter R.
Biological invasions 2016 v.18 no.12 pp. 3383-3395
humans, invasive species, mycorrhizal fungi, plantation forestry, scientists, soil ecosystems, toxicity, trees
Ectomycorrhizal fungi are increasingly recognized as invasive species. Invasive ectomycorrhizal fungi can be toxic to humans, may compete with native, edible or otherwise valuable fungi, facilitate the co-invasion of trees, and cause major changes in soil ecosystems, but also have positive effects, enabling plantation forestry and, in some cases, becoming a valuable food source. Land-managers are interested in controlling and removing invasive fungi, but there are few available strategies for management and none are based on robust scientific evidence. Nonetheless, despite the absence of relevant experiments, we suggest that knowledge of the fundamental ecology of fungi can help guide strategies. We review the literature and suggest potential strategies for prevention, for slowing the spread of invasive fungi, for eradication, and for long-term management. In many cases the most appropriate strategy will be species and context (including country) specific. In order to effectively address the problems posed by invasive ectomycorrhizal fungi, land managers and scientists need to work together to develop and robustly test control and management strategies.