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University of Tartu
Plant Ecology Laboratory
employee Mari Moora Tartu,, Estonia

PhD Mari Moora

Senior researcher
Mari.Moora [ at ]

Mari Moora

My main research addresses biotic interactions underlying the diversity and composition of plant communities. How does competition and facilitation between plants influence the structure of communities and how do these interactions interfere with forest and grassland management? How does the most widespread symbiosis between fungus and plant root – arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) – influence the outcome of plant interactions and hence, the structure of plant communities? How does the community composition of AM fungal communities vary at local and global scale; and how this variation relates to the composition and diversity of plant communities? More recently I have addressed the relationships between plants and AM fungi in general – how the mycorrhizal traits of plants are related to other traits; do different plant functional groups harbour different AM fungal communities in their roots; what role plays AM symbiosis in plant invasions and distribution in general? 

My research is part of the targeted financing grant ‘The role of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) in shaping plant community patterns and plant interactions’ (1.01.2014−31.12.2019), being also the member of the centre of excellence Ecolchange. See my CV with full publication list in Estonian Research Portal.


I am supervising doctoral student Maret Gerz and co-supervising doctoral student Daniela Leon Velandia.

Selected papers:

  • Zobel, M.; Davison, J.; Edwards, M. E.; Brochmann, C.; Coissac, E.; Taberlet, P.; Willerslev, E. & Moora, M. 2018. Ancient environmental DNA reveals shifts in dominant mutualisms during the late Quaternary. Nature Communications 9:139.
  • Gerz, M.; Bueno, C. G.; Ozinga, W. A.; Zobel, M. & Moora, M. 2018. Niche differentiation and expansion of plant species are associated with mycorrhizal symbiosis. Journal of Ecology 106: 254-264.
  • Bueno, C. G.; Moora, M.; Gerz, M.; Davison, J.; Öpik, M.; Pärtel, M.; Helm, A.; Ronk, A.; Kühn, I. & Zobel, M. 2017. Plant mycorrhizal status, but not type, shifts with latitude and elevation in Europe. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26: 690–699.
  • Moora, M.; Öpik, M.; Davison, J.; Jairus, T.; Vasar, M.; Zobel, M. & Eckstein, R.L. 2016. AM fungal communities inhabiting the roots of submerged aquatic plant Lobelia dortmanna are diverse and include a high proportion of novel taxa. Mycorrhiza 26: 735-745.
  • Davison, J., Moora, M., Öpik, M., Adholeya, A., Ainsaar, L., Bâ, A., Burla, S., Diedhiou, A.G., Hiiesalu, I., Jairus, T., Johnson, N.C., Kane,A., Koorem, K., Kochar, M., Ndiaye, C., Pärtel, M., Reier, Ü., Saks, Ü., Singh, R., Vasar, M., Zobel M. Global assessment of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus diversity reveals very low endemism. Science 2015. 349: 970-973.
  • Moora, M. 2014. Mycorrhizal traits and plant communities: perspectives for integration. Journal of Vegetation Science 25:1126−1132.
  • Willerslev E., Davison, J., Moora, M., Zobel, M., Coissac, E., Edwards, M.E., Lorenzen, E.D., Vestergard, M., et al. 2014. Fifty thousand years of Arctic vegetation and megafaunal diet. Nature 506: 47-51.
  • Hempel, S., Götzenberger, L., Kühn, I., Michalski, G.S., Rillig, C.M., Zobel, M., Moora, M. 2013. Mycorrhizas in the Central European flora – relationships with plant life history traits and ecology. Ecology 94: 1389–1399.
  • Moora, M., Zobel, M. 2010. Arbuscular mycorrhizae and plant-plant interactions. In: Pugnaire FI (ed) Positive plant interactions and community dynamics. CRC Press, London, pp 79-98.