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Fungal farming in a snail.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Silliman, BR; Newell, SY
Published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
December 2003

Mutualisms between fungi and fungus-growing animals are model systems for studying coevolution and complex interactions between species. Fungal growing behavior has enabled cultivating animals to rise to major ecological importance, but evolution of farming symbioses is thought to be restricted to three terrestrial insect lineages. Surveys along 2,000 km of North America's Atlantic coast documented that the marine snail Littoraria irrorata grazes fungus-infected wounds on live marsh grass throughout its range. Field experiments demonstrate a facultative, farming mutualism between Littoraria and intertidal fungi. Snails graze live grass primarily not to feed but to prepare substrate for fungal growth and consume invasive fungi. Fungal removal experiments show that snails and fungi act synergistically to suppress marsh grass production. These results provide a case of fungus farming in the marine environment and outside the class Insecta and reveal a previously undemonstrated ecological mechanism (i.e., facilitation of fungal invasion) by which grazers can exert top-down control of marine plant production.

Duke Scholars

Published In

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

DOI

EISSN

1091-6490

ISSN

0027-8424

Publication Date

December 2003

Volume

100

Issue

26

Start / End Page

15643 / 15648

Related Subject Headings

  • United States
  • Symbiosis
  • Snails
  • Seawater
  • Fungi
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Feces
  • Animals
 

Citation

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ICMJE
MLA
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Silliman, B. R., & Newell, S. Y. (2003). Fungal farming in a snail. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(26), 15643–15648. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2535227100
Silliman, Brian R., and Steven Y. Newell. “Fungal farming in a snail.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100, no. 26 (December 2003): 15643–48. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2535227100.
Silliman BR, Newell SY. Fungal farming in a snail. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2003 Dec;100(26):15643–8.
Silliman, Brian R., and Steven Y. Newell. “Fungal farming in a snail.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 100, no. 26, Dec. 2003, pp. 15643–48. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.2535227100.
Silliman BR, Newell SY. Fungal farming in a snail. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2003 Dec;100(26):15643–15648.
Journal cover image

Published In

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

DOI

EISSN

1091-6490

ISSN

0027-8424

Publication Date

December 2003

Volume

100

Issue

26

Start / End Page

15643 / 15648

Related Subject Headings

  • United States
  • Symbiosis
  • Snails
  • Seawater
  • Fungi
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Feces
  • Animals