From the beginning of my research career I was interested in the study of processes that drive vegetation structure and distribution. After discovering the potential of soil processes to be involved in vegetation changes, I have sought to develop a research line crossing the border between soil and plant disciplines. Within this frame, my scientific career has been focused in plant symbiotic soil fungi, particularly arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. This symbiosis is one of the most widespread symbioses in terrestrial ecosystems and it is thought to have been crucial for the earth colonization of plants. Even nowadays, its presence can alleviate several kinds of stresses for their plant partners.

During my PhD thesis, in the Experimental Station of Zaidín (CSIC, Granada) under the supervision of Prof. J. M. Barea and Prof. C. Azcón-Aguilar, I had the opportunity to study particular aspects on the succession of the fungal communities into plant roots revealing that the fungal community indeed change over time (López-García et al. 2014b). In addition to this temporal variable for the community assembly of AM fungi, I studied the influence of abiotic and biotic factors. In 2013, I published how AM fungal diversity was reduced due to degradation processes acting over a local population of yew (Taxus baccata) in south Spain (López-García et al. 2013). By other hand, my focus in biotic factors was centred in the interrelation between plant traits and the community composition and the characterization of some fungal traits at community level. The key question was to deepen in the causes behind the common preferences found between plant and fungal species when choosing partners. For this purpose I chose a set of plant species differing in fundamental traits, i.e. they show different plant life forms, which were inoculated with a common natural propagule mixtures. This study (López-García et al. 2014a) demonstrated that: i) plant life forms are important in determining the community composition of AM fungal communities; and ii) that plant species with more ruderal traits (being herbaceous and/or annual) tend to associate with AM fungal species that seem to produce more resistant propagules. In that time, other research group advanced in this line suggesting that the CSR framework (i.e. the classification of species as competitor, stress-tolerant and ruderal) can be useful to understand the preferences between plant and AM fungal partners (see Chagnon et al. 2013). With the aim of having more information about the topic, the results of another study are nowadays being prepared to be published. In this case, I used next generation sequencing and phylogenetic approaches to deepen in the preferences between plant and fungal parterns. More information soon!

Alvaro LG PhD


> 2016-2018. Postdoc ("Marie Curie" H2020-IF), University of Copenhagen with Søren Rosendahl.
> 2016. Postdoctoral Researcher, IRNAS-CSIC with Teodoro Marañon.
> 2014-2015. Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Copenhagen with Søren Rosendahl.
> 2013-2014. Postdoc (DAAD short term stay), Freie Universitat Berlin with Matthias Rillig
> 2010. PhD stay (FPI) in Freie Universitat Berlin with Matthias Rillig.
> 2009. PhD stay (FPI) in University of Guelph with John Klironomos.
> 2007-2013. PhD (FPI) in EEZ-CSIC with José M. Barea and Conchi Azcón-Aguilar.
> 2009, Master of Science in Agrarian Biology, University of Granada.
> 2007, Bachelor in Environmental Sciences, University of Granada.
> 2005. Research Collaboration grant  (Spanish Government), University of Granada with Joaquín Molero.
> 2004, Introduction to research grant (University of Granada), University of Granada with Joaquín Molero.

Dr. Álvaro López García / Postdoctoral Researcher
Mycorrhizal lab, Dept. of Soil Microbiology and Symbiotic Systems
Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC
c/ Profesor Albareda, 1 - 18008 Granada, Spain