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

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Abstract

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.

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