The Linkages between Plant Species Composition and Soil Microbial Communities: What about Symbiotic Microorganisms within Man-Made Tree Plantations?

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Man-made forest systems are usually focused upon the trees and are defined mainly in relation to their capacity to produce timber and prevent catastrophic events such as damage by wind. In recent years, however, there has been a growing awareness amongst plant ecologists and soil microbial ecologists that understanding the connectivity between their study organisms is of utmost importance. The interactions between plants and soil microorganisms are particularly important because plants represent the main pathway through which carbon, the element that severely limits microbial growth, enters into soil. From a reciprocal viewpoint, microbial associations have been pointed as an important strategy to guarantee plant survival under semiarid conditions. However, there are several recent studies that have been carried out on the devastating ecological impact resulting from anthropogenic dispersal of exotic plants.


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