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The Gehring Lab conducts research to understand the functioning of fungi in natural and managed systems. Of particular interest is how abiotic and biotic factors interact to affect the abundance and community composition of plant-associated fungi and how changes in these parameters then feedback to affect the performance of host plants. Current projects explore the influence of host plant genetics on fungal abundance and diversity; the impact of climate change on interactions among host plants, fungi, and insects; and the belowground mechanisms by which invasive plants may harm native plants. Interactions among vertebrates, plants, and mycorrhizal fungi in tropical ecosystems are also a research focus.