The soil harbors all kinds of fungi; some beneficial and some detrimental to the health of plants. A specific class of fungi, known as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form a symbiotic relationship with the roots of plants that's associated with over 80% of plant species globally. These fungi can help alter plant defense traits against herbivores or help provide nutrients to plants. In episode, we digest a study specific to AMF of milkweed plants and how it can impact performance of monarch butterfly caterpillars and aphids.
Full citation to study:
Meier, A. R., & Hunter, M. D. (2018). Mycorrhizae alter toxin sequestration and performance of two specialist herbivores. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6: 1 - 16.