Misdiagnosis of mycorrhizas and inappropriate recycling of data can lead to false conclusions

Mark Brundrett, Leho Tedersoo

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We draw attention to a worrying trend for the uncritical use of 'recycled' mycorrhizal data to compile host species lists that include obvious errors or undertake risky analyses that correlate mycorrhizal colonisation levels with environmental or physiological factors despite inherent limitations in datasets. We are not suggesting that all meta-studies are wrong, only that more care should be taken to resolve what can safely be done with recycled mycorrhizal data in the future. We also recommend that mycorrhizal species lists should be checked against standard references since the majority of EM hosts and NM plant belong to families that are well resolved. However, additional research is required in cases where plant families have multiple root types within genera or occur in habitats where mycorrhizal associations are often suppressed (see Brundrett & Tedersoo, 2018). We hope that the mycorrhizal science community will work together more closely in the future to develop and enforce standards for mycorrhizal diagnosis and to share carefully corrected datasets for realistic meta-studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume221
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Cite this

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title = "Misdiagnosis of mycorrhizas and inappropriate recycling of data can lead to false conclusions",
abstract = "We draw attention to a worrying trend for the uncritical use of 'recycled' mycorrhizal data to compile host species lists that include obvious errors or undertake risky analyses that correlate mycorrhizal colonisation levels with environmental or physiological factors despite inherent limitations in datasets. We are not suggesting that all meta-studies are wrong, only that more care should be taken to resolve what can safely be done with recycled mycorrhizal data in the future. We also recommend that mycorrhizal species lists should be checked against standard references since the majority of EM hosts and NM plant belong to families that are well resolved. However, additional research is required in cases where plant families have multiple root types within genera or occur in habitats where mycorrhizal associations are often suppressed (see Brundrett & Tedersoo, 2018). We hope that the mycorrhizal science community will work together more closely in the future to develop and enforce standards for mycorrhizal diagnosis and to share carefully corrected datasets for realistic meta-studies.",
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Misdiagnosis of mycorrhizas and inappropriate recycling of data can lead to false conclusions. / Brundrett, Mark; Tedersoo, Leho.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 221, No. 1, 01.2019, p. 18-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

TY - JOUR

T1 - Misdiagnosis of mycorrhizas and inappropriate recycling of data can lead to false conclusions

AU - Brundrett, Mark

AU - Tedersoo, Leho

PY - 2019/1

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AB - We draw attention to a worrying trend for the uncritical use of 'recycled' mycorrhizal data to compile host species lists that include obvious errors or undertake risky analyses that correlate mycorrhizal colonisation levels with environmental or physiological factors despite inherent limitations in datasets. We are not suggesting that all meta-studies are wrong, only that more care should be taken to resolve what can safely be done with recycled mycorrhizal data in the future. We also recommend that mycorrhizal species lists should be checked against standard references since the majority of EM hosts and NM plant belong to families that are well resolved. However, additional research is required in cases where plant families have multiple root types within genera or occur in habitats where mycorrhizal associations are often suppressed (see Brundrett & Tedersoo, 2018). We hope that the mycorrhizal science community will work together more closely in the future to develop and enforce standards for mycorrhizal diagnosis and to share carefully corrected datasets for realistic meta-studies.

KW - databases

KW - diagnosis errors

KW - evolution

KW - meta-analysis

KW - mycorrhizal associations

KW - ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL

KW - FUNGI

KW - COLONIZATION

KW - BRASSICACEAE

KW - GROWTH

KW - ASSOCIATIONS

KW - TRAITS

KW - PLANTS

KW - ECTOMYCORRHIZAS

KW - DIVERSITY

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