Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department or Program
Second Department or Program
The classification of mycoheterotrophs in the Monotropoideae sub-family as epiparasites is misdirectional and problematic. A net cost has not been proven to occur with the associates of mycoheterotrophs in the Monotropoideae, therefore epiparasitism is not concretely proven. However, because of evidence that there is a linear transfer of photosynthate to the mycoheterotroph with no known reciprocation it is predicted that they are parasitic on their associate fungus and tree. Preemptively mycoheterotrophs are considered epiparasites, and this assumption has become the predominant perspective through which mycoheterotrophs are studied. The overuse of epiparasitism as a theoretical model limits the study of other possible mycoheterotroph associations that are not a form of parasitism. It is unsatisfactory to settle on the use of parasitism to describe mycoheterotrophic associations without further evidence.
McAuliffe, James J., "Epiparasitism and Mycoheterotrophy" (2018). Senior Theses.