Using the plant microbiome to restore native grasslands

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The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.

An appreciation of the crucial role of microbiomes, from those aboard the International Space Station to those living in the human gut, is quickly gaining traction among both scientists and members of the general public. Now, a similar appreciation of microbial communities' importance is growing among those who study and restore grasslands and other ecosystems.

Writing in BioScience, Dr. Liz Koziol, of Kansas University, and her colleagues describe the current state of knowledge about plant microbiomes, and specifically, the mutualistic relationship between plant species and the fungi that live in and among their roots–mycorrhizal fungi. The authors argue that "reintroduction of the native microbiome and native mycorrhizal fungi improves plant diversity, accelerates succession, and increases the establishment of plants that are often missing from restored communities."

In this episode of BioScience Talks, Koziol joins us to discuss her article and to describe the potential ecological benefits of grassland restoration efforts that include the reintroduction of native plant microbiome species. To hear the whole discussion, visit this link for this latest episode of the BioScience Talks podcast.

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BioScience, published monthly by Oxford Journals, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). BioScience is a forum for integrating the life sciences that publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles. The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is an organization for professional scientific societies and organizations, and individuals, involved with biology. AIBS provides decision-makers with high-quality, vetted information for the advancement of biology and society. Follow BioScience on Twitter @BioScienceAIBS.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy125

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