In and around the tangled roots of the forest floor, fungi and bacteria grow with trees, exchanging nutrients for carbon in a vast, global marketplace. A new effort to map the most abundant of these symbiotic relationships — involving more than 1.1 million forest sites and 28,000 tree species — has revealed factors that determine where different types of symbionts will flourish. The work could help scientists understand how symbiotic partnerships structure the world's forests and how they could be affected by a warming climate. Stanford University researchers worked alongside a team of over 200 scientists to generate these maps, published May 16 in Nature. From the work, they revealed a new biological rule, which the team named Read's Rule after pioneer in symbiosis research Sir David Read.
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