Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Professor of Molecular Ecology



+44 (0)20 8332 5382m.bidartondo Website




Jodrell GateRoyal Botanic GardensRoyal Botanic Gardens





Martin works on the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizas, one of the dominant symbioses of terrestrial ecosystems.  The systems that he has studied include arbuscular, ectomycorrhizal, monotropoid and orchid mycorrhizas, and the mycorrhiza-like associations of bryophytes.  He is an Honorary Research Associate at he Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Research Interests

Following his ground-breaking research on the evolutionary ecology of the diverse plants that cheat mycorrhizal mutualisms, his team has investigated:  1) the mycorrhizal ecology of heathlands first revealing the mechanisms of tree invasions and then uncovering nutritional links among vascular plants, fungi and non-vascular plants, 2) the environmental drivers of forest mycorrhizas at large scales, revealing the impacts of nitrogen pollution across European forests in collaboration with ICP Forests, and 3) the ecology and evolution of their newly discovered, yet ancient and globally-widespread, symbioses between lineages of plants and fungi.

If you are interested in applying for a studentship or fellowship in these or related areas of research, please contact Martin.

Academic History:

Ph.D. 2001, University of California at Berkeley
B.S. 1996, University of Alaska at Fairbanks

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Suz LM, Bidartondo MI, van der Linde S, et al., 2021, Ectomycorrhizas and tipping points in forest ecosystems, New Phytologist, Vol:231, ISSN:0028-646X, Pages:1700-1707

Rimington WR, Pressel S, Duckett JG, et al., 2019, Evolution and networks in ancient and widespread symbioses between Mucoromycotina and liverworts, Mycorrhiza, Vol:29, ISSN:0940-6360, Pages:551-565

Bidartondo MI, Rimington W, Pressel S, et al., 2018, Ancient plants with ancient fungi: liverworts associate with early-diverging arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character. Royal Society (great Britain), Vol:285, ISSN:0950-1193

van der Linde S, Suz LM, Orme CDL, et al., 2018, Environment and host as large-scale controls of ectomycorrhizal fungi, Nature, Vol:558, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:243-248

Hoysted GA, Kowal J, Jacob A, et al., 2017, A mycorrhizal revolution., Current Opinion in Plant Biology, Vol:44, ISSN:1369-5266, Pages:1-6

Merckx VSFT, Gomes SIF, Wapstra M, et al., 2017, The biogeographical history of the interaction between mycoheterotrophic Thismia (Thismiaceae) plants and mycorrhizal Rhizophagus (Glomeraceae) fungi, Journal of Biogeography, Vol:44, ISSN:1365-2699, Pages:1869-1879

Kowal J, Pressel S, Duckett JG, et al., 2015, Liverworts to the rescue: an investigation of their efficacy as mycorrhizal inoculum for vascular plants, Functional Ecology, Vol:30, ISSN:1365-2435, Pages:1014-1023

Field KJ, Pressel S, Duckett JG, et al., 2015, Symbiotic options for the conquest of land, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol:30, ISSN:0169-5347, Pages:477-486

Suz LM, Barsoum N, Benham S, et al., 2015, Monitoring ectomycorrhizal fungi at large scales for science, forest management, fungal conservation and environmental policy, Annals of Forest Science, Vol:72, ISSN:1286-4560, Pages:877-885

Suz LM, Barsoum N, Benham S, et al., 2014, Environmental drivers of ectomycorrhizal communities in Europe's temperate oak forests, Molecular Ecology, Vol:23, ISSN:1365-294X, Pages:5628-5644

Bidartondo MI, Read DJ, Trappe JM, et al., 2011, The dawn of symbiosis between plants and fungi., Biology Letters, ISSN:1744-957X

Cox F, Barsoum N, Lilleskov EA, et al., 2010, Nitrogen availability is a primary determinant of conifer mycorrhizas across complex environmental gradients., Ecology Letters, Vol:13, ISSN:1461-0248, Pages:1103-1113

Bidartondo MI, Bruns TD, Blackwell M, et al., 2008, Preserving accuracy in GenBank, Science, Vol:319, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:1616-1616

Bidartondo MI, 2005, The evolutionary ecology of myco-heterotrophy., New Phytologist, Vol:167, ISSN:0028-646X, Pages:335-352

Bidartondo MI, Burghardt B, Gebauer G, et al., 2004, Changing partners in the dark: isotopic and molecular evidence of ectomycorrhizal liaisons between forest orchids and trees., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:271, ISSN:0962-8452, Pages:1799-1806

Bidartondo MI, Redecker D, Hijri I, et al., 2002, Epiparasitic plants specialized on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Nature, Vol:419, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:389-392

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