Stowaway fungi hitch a ride with birds to be with their plant partners

Last updated: 24 Jan, 2019

In a study published in New Phytologist, the researchers provide the first evidence that birds don’t just carry birds to new places, but their fungal partners too. They found what they were looking for in bird poo.


For the study, the team collected numerous bird droppings, and attempted to grow the seeds they contained. A total of 54 plant seedlings from six species emerged from 34 bird droppings. Some of the plants that germinated were already colonised by fungi – revealing that birds carry both plans and their fungal partners to new areas.


Read more on the New Phyt blog.


Read the paper: Correia, M., Heleno, R., da Silva, L. P., Costa, J. M. and Rodríguez‐Echeverría, S. (2019) First evidence for the joint dispersal of mycorrhizal fungi and plant diaspores by birdsNew Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.15571