Effect of soil management on pore geometry and the implications for fungal invasion and interactions
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Despite the importance of fungi in soil functioning they have received comparatively little attention and our understanding of fungal interactions and communities is lacking. This study aims to combine a physiologically based model of fungal growth and interactions with digitized images of undisturbed soil samples from contrasting management practices to determine the effect of physical structure on fungal growth and colonization. We quantified pore geometries of the undisturbed soil samples from long-term agricultural and native vegetation land uses, modelled invasion of a single fungal species and of two different fungal species within the soil samples; and evaluated the role of soil structure on fungal invasion and species interactions; in particular, we identified those characteristics of the pore volume that promote or exclude fungal invasion.