Coevolution, ecological interactions and biodiversity
Leader Raivo Mänd
Mutualism and parasitism are important driving forces for development of life history traits in plants, animals and microbes, as well as for speciation. Co-variation of diversity patterns of mutualistically-related taxonomic groups is poorly understood. Only recently has the advent of molecular tools provided a plethora of new discoveries and allowed basic research on many types of interactions that cannot be manipulated in axenic conditions. We would like to address biodiversity patterns of mutualistically related organisms, focusing on vertebrate-parasite and plant-symbiotic fungus relationships. We shall also address plant diversity patterns in relation to the predominating type of mycorrhizal symbiosis (ectomycorrhiza, arbuscular mycorrhiza, ericoid mycorrhiza) in ecosystems.