Scientists discover interaction between good and bad fungi that drives forest biodiversity

Scientists have long understood that forest biodiversity is driven in part by something called rare-species advantage—that is, an individual tree has a better chance of survival if there are only a few other trees of the same species around. As a result, when the number of trees of any given species rises, survival rates among individual trees of that species drop. Scientists agree that rare-species advantage promotes forest diversity by preventing any one tree species from dominating the forest, but the mechanisms underlying rare-species advantage have been hard to identify.

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