Mary A. Bancroft Memorial Scholarship
2004 Recipient: Cathy Collins
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Restoration study that focuses on plant-fungal mutualism of native tallgrass prairie plants
Personal Interest in Plants
After moving to Kansas two years ago and working with Dr. Bryan Foster, she became interested in her present native plant study. "When I began learning about prairie plants, I was fascinated to learn that plant-fungal mutualisms help drive the patterns of plant diversity. Most plants form symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). However in Kansas tallgrass prairies, this mutualism is of particular importance because the presence of AMF plays a key role in determining whether warm-season or cool-season grasses dominate a prairie site. Consequently, the presence of AMF significantly alters plant community composition and diversity."