Efficiency and Adaptation
Cooperation and trade are common in the natural world. Based on the cost of production and the constraints presented by the environment, an organism may be more successful by trading for a product than producing it. In this situation the organism may specialize in one product and trade for another. In this SLP we will examine an example of trading partners, mycorrhizal fungi and plants, and compare it to the principles of international trade, an important component of macroeconomics. After you view this tutorial, consider some of the principles it introduced and how they apply to specialization and trade between the symbiotic partners that make up a mycorrhizal association.
In the videos and tutorials you completed for your Case 3 Assignment, you learned about how plants can utilize sunlight to build sugars. Some of these sugars are sent to plant roots for growth and storage. Mycorrhizal fungi live within or surrounding plant roots as a symbiosis. Mycorrhizal fungi cannot make their own food. As fungi, they have the ability to decompose organic (carbon-based) material, but they do not contain chlorophyll and must obtain carbon directly from the environment (like we do!). The fossil record shows mycorrhizal fungi living in association with the earliest plants, bryophytes.
In the following image, you can see the cross section of a mycorrhizae root with only the cortical cells of the root being invaded by the fungus. The large circular cells are the cortical cells and the black areas are the invading fungus. Note, the fungus is invading the root, but not penetrating the cortical cells.
Image. Symbiosis: Mycorrhizae and Lichens. Accessed May 11, 2017 at http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/wong/BOT135/Lect26.htm
Scientists believe that this symbiosis may have been key to the success of plants on land. Begin your introduction to this symbiosis at the Compost Gardener, and be sure to view their video. Next, proceed to this site maintained by the University of Western Australia, School of Plant Biology: http://mycorrhizas.info/vam.html to complete your research and locate important images for your SLP assignment.
Using the resources provided above, develop a PowerPoint presentation that includes the following:
Compose a brief overview of the structure and function of plant roots. Include definitions and images of these terms: epidermis, exodermis, cortex, endodermis, and root hairs. You can refer to the following resource:
Provide an explanation of the symbiosis between mycorrhizal fungi and plant roots. Include definitions and explanation of the differences between Arbuscularmycorrhiza and Ectomycorrhizal fungi using the following images:
mycorrhizal fungi image 1.pdf
mycorrhizal fungi image 2.pdf
And the websites: http://mycorrhizas.info/vam.html
Discussion of the costs and benefits associated with this trade arrangement using the following resources:
Terms of Trade.ppt
Walder, F., Niemann, H., Natarajan, M., Lehmann, M. F., Boller, T. &Wiemken, A. Mycorrhizal Networks: Common Goods of Plants Shared under Unequal Terms of Trade. Plant Physiology. 2012. 159:789–797. Accessed on August 8, 2014, at http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/159/2/789.full
Now view information by Green Economy about a company that markets this symbiosis. Read more about mycorrhizae and Mycorrhizal Applications, Inc. at their website http://mycorrhizae.com/.
• How can the trade between these organisms benefit our economy and land use?
Pearson Learning Solutions: International Trade and Finance. Pearson Higher Education, 2014. Accessed on August 8, 2014, at http://www.pearsoncustom.com/mct-comprehensive/asset.php?isbn=1269879944&id=12090
The Plant Fungi Partnership—Benefits of Trade.The Compost Gardener. 2014. Accessed on August 8, 2014, at http://www.the-compost-gardener.com/plant-fungi.html.
University of Western Australia, School of Plant Biology.Mycorrhizal Associations: The Web Resource. Accessed on August 8, 2014, at http://mycorrhizas.info/vam.html
Green Economy: Mycorrhizal Applications, Inc. Accessed on August 8, 2014, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JuVOJaYrZc&feature=youtu.be
SLP Assignment Expectations
For this SLP assignment you will develop a PowerPoint Presentation that is 17–20 slides in length and addresses the requirements outlined above. Place the text containing the answers to the questions above in the slide area or you may use the notes section of your slide presentation as well if needed. Discuss the processes that are occurring in the images you use to support your answers to the questions above. Be sure your last slide is a references slide that contains the full references to all sources and images cited on your slides in APA format.
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