About this Research Topic
The interactions between soil fauna, fungi and physical chemical properties are key aspects in soil functioning. Both biological groups play a key role within the soil food web and their mutual influence affects terrestrial biogeochemical cycles. Fungal grazers can induce important changes in the performance of the plant–fungus association, thus indirectly influencing plant primary productivity, microbial respiration, mineralization process, decomposition rates, and nutrient cycling in soils. Soil fungivorous invertebrates can have either positive or negative effects on fungal communities, depending on grazer taxon and abundance. Grazing can facilitate fungal reproduction through spore dispersion. However, to prevent detrimental grazing, some fungi have evolved defensive strategies, including the presence of crystal structures and other deposits on their hyphal surface, and the production of toxic or distasteful secondary metabolites, so much so that fungal entomopathogens have been widely used for pests biological control.
Additionally, soil fauna interacts not only with those fungi that have a positive interaction with plants (e.g. mycorrhizal fungi) but also with parasitic and saprotrophic fungi, with complex and still poorly understood feedbacks on the detrital processing. As a consequence of all these complex nets, both fungi and soil fauna have an impact on soil properties and functioning, and reciprocally, the evolution and alterations of the soil conditions could affect fungi and soil fauna interactions.
The goal of the Research Topic is to provide advanced, multidisciplinary, and integrative original research in soil ecology with an emphasis on the interaction between edaphic fauna, fungi, and soil properties and functioning, supported by state-of-the-art statistical analyses and comprehensive quality literature reviews.
With this goal in mind, we welcome submissions considering reciprocal impacts between fungi and soil fauna interactions and the evolution and alterations of the soil conditions. Sub themes include:
- The role of edaphic fauna in spore dispersion
- Interrelated effects of soil invertebrates in mycorrhiza association
- The relation between soil fauna and hypogeous fungi
- Effects of soil faunal grazing on fungal decomposition process
- Fungal and soil fauna application in pest control
- Effects and scenarios of global climate changes on the interaction between fungi and soil fauna
Keywords: soil, soil ecology, edaphic, fauna, fungi, soil invertebrates, climate change, mycorrhizal
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.