Does host plant richness explain diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi? Re-evaluation of Gao et al. (2013) data sets reveals sampling effects



The generally positive relationship between biodiversity of groups of directly or indirectly interacting organisms is one of the most important ecological concepts (Gaston, 2000 Nature, 405, 220–227; Scherber C, Eisenhauer N, Weisser WW et al., 2010 Nature, 468, 553–556). In a recent issue of Molecular Ecology, Gao C, Shi N-N, Liu Y-X et al. (2013: 22, 3403–3414) reported that the richness of plants and ectomycorrhizal fungi is positively correlated both at local and at global scales. Here, we challenge these findings by re-analysis of data and ascribe the reported results to sampling effect and poor data compilation.