The soil mycobiome at the tree line of Manu National Park, Cusco, Peru

Norma Salinas
Norma Salinas
Parque Nacional del Manu, Cusco, Perú
project abstract

Across terrestrial plant species, symbiotic relationships between fungi and roots is common. Various mycorrhizal types prevail in distinct biomes, with arbuscular mycorrhizae colonization contingent upon evolutionary and ecological constraints. Peru boasts a wealth of endemic flora and fauna, nestled within the globally recognized biodiversity hotspot of the "Tropical Andes." Within the Peruvian Andes lie the Puna grasslands and montane forests, constituting the Puna-timberline ecotone, which serve as habitats for endemic plant and animal species and harbor hidden underground biodiversity. Our SPUN project aims to highlight these regions as potential biodiversity hotspots for mycorrhizal fungi while recognizing them as some of the most uncharted territories for soil fungi research. We anticipate observing distinct fungal communities, particularly ectomycorrhizal, with a marked diversity turnover pattern across the three ecosystems: forests, ecotones, and grasslands.