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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 746506, 7 pages
Review Article

Meta-Analysis of Interactions between Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Biotic Stressors of Plants

1College of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, No. 6 Tongwei Road, Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210095, China
2Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China

Received 30 August 2013; Accepted 24 October 2013; Published 16 January 2014

Academic Editors: N. B. Comerford, A. Roldán Garrigós, and N. Vassilev

Copyright © 2014 Haishui Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Naturally, simultaneous interactions occurred among plants, herbivores, and soil biota, that is, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), nematodes, and fungal pathogens. These multiple interactions play fundamental roles in driving process, structure, and functioning of ecosystems. In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis with 144 papers to investigate the interactions between AMF and plant biotic stressors and their effects on plant growth performance. We found that AMF enhanced plant tolerance to herbivores, nematodes, and fungal pathogens. We also found reciprocal inhibition between AMF and nematodes as well as fungal pathogens, but unidirectional inhibition for AMF on herbivores. Negative effects of AMF on biotic stressors of plants depended on herbivore feeding sites and actioning modes of fungal pathogens. More performance was reduced in root-feeding than in shoot-feeding herbivores and in rotting- than in wilt-fungal pathogens. However, no difference was found for AMF negative effects between migratory and sedentary nematodes. In return, nematodes and fungal pathogens generated more reduction of root colonization in Non-Glomeraceae than in Glomeraceae. Our results suggested that AMF positive effects on plants might be indirectly mediated by competitive inhibition with biotic stressors of plants. These positive and negative interactions make potential contributions to maintaining ecosystem stability and functioning.