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Open AccessReview

Do Foliar Endophytes Matter in Litter Decomposition?

Department of Biology, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97201, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(3), 446;
Received: 27 January 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 21 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Endophytes and Their Interactions with Plants)
Litter decomposition rates are affected by a variety of abiotic and biotic factors, including the presence of fungal endophytes in host plant tissues. This review broadly analyzes the findings of 67 studies on the roles of foliar endophytes in litter decomposition, and their effects on decomposition rates. From 29 studies and 1 review, we compiled a comprehensive table of 710 leaf-associated fungal taxa, including the type of tissue these taxa were associated with and isolated from, whether they were reported as endo- or epiphytic, and whether they had reported saprophytic abilities. Aquatic (i.e., in-stream) decomposition studies of endophyte-affected litter were significantly under-represented in the search results (p < 0.0001). Indicator species analyses revealed that different groups of fungal endophytes were significantly associated with cool or tropical climates, as well as specific plant host genera (p < 0.05). Finally, we argue that host plant and endophyte interactions can significantly influence litter decomposition rates and should be considered when interpreting results from both terrestrial and in-stream litter decomposition experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant–microbe interactions; ecosystem processes; microbe–microbe interactions; fungi; bacteria plant–microbe interactions; ecosystem processes; microbe–microbe interactions; fungi; bacteria
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wolfe, E.R.; Ballhorn, D.J. Do Foliar Endophytes Matter in Litter Decomposition? Microorganisms 2020, 8, 446.

AMA Style

Wolfe ER, Ballhorn DJ. Do Foliar Endophytes Matter in Litter Decomposition? Microorganisms. 2020; 8(3):446.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wolfe, Emily R.; Ballhorn, Daniel J. 2020. "Do Foliar Endophytes Matter in Litter Decomposition?" Microorganisms 8, no. 3: 446.

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