Thursday, June 20, 2024

Mycorrhizal networks store a third of global carbon annually Science


An international team of researchers has revealed that mycorrhizal fungi contribute to a significant reduction in climate change and global warming. study was recently published in the journal Current Biology.

Mycorrhiza form an extensive underground network throughout the world, be it grasslands, forests, gardens or roads, and are essential not only for maintaining biodiversity but also for storing carbon; This reduces air pollution and also reduces the temperature of the earth.

This is achieved by the ability of this vast network to store more than 13.13 gigatons of carbon dioxide worldwide, which, according to the results of the study, is equivalent to 36% of global fossil fuel emissions annually.

Carbon storage takes place through a symbiotic relationship between wild plants and fungi (Oirati-Galvez).

Underground carbon storage

Carbon storage takes place through a symbiotic relationship between wild plants and fungi that grow on their roots. These fungi provide plants with mineral nutrients such as phosphorus in exchange for sugars that plants produce from light and carbon dioxide.

This is due to the characteristic of fungi, which, although they resemble plants in form, do not produce nutrients through the process of photosynthesis, but instead look for ready-made nutrients such as sugars, so they are similar to animals in their nutrition. behavior.

An international team of researchers made the findings after analyzing hundreds of studies looking at soil processes and plant interactions to understand how much carbon is stored by fungi on a global scale.

Fungal protection is essential

Considering the importance of fungi in protecting the climate, an international team of researchers emphasized the need to protect their underground networks from the danger of human activities that could cause their destruction during agricultural, mining and industrial activities. The route causes huge losses to fungi and disrupts climate protection efforts Press release Presented by the University of Sheffield on 5th June.

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An international team of researchers emphasizes the need to protect underground mushroom networks from the threat of human activity (University of Sheffield).

“Many details of this process are still unclear, and we still don’t know how stable the carbon stored in fungi is during their lifetime and after death,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Heidi Hawkins of the University of Cape Town, in publication.

The research presents a set of hypotheses. We hypothesize that some of the carbon molecules may decompose and combine in solid form to become minerals in the soil, and some may be associated with new plant bodies, and some of this carbon stored in fungi moves back to the atmosphere. Like animals, fungi release carbon dioxide during respiration.

For her part, the co-author of the study, Professor Katie Field from the University of Sheffield – emphasized the importance of fungi in storing carbon, especially after the surprising numbers the research reached, as she said. “When we think about solutions for climate protection, we need to think about how to use things that already exist,” he explains in the report. When we disrupt industries, and life support systems in the soil, we destroy our own efforts.

Regarding the role of fungi in protecting the climate, Hawkins said – in the same report – “There has been a lot of attention paid to protecting forests and restoring them as a natural way to reduce climate pollution, but not much attention has been paid to the fate of fate. The large amount of carbon dioxide that is transferred from the atmosphere during the photosynthesis process of plants and sent to underground fungi .

A group of researchers has called for fungi to be taken into account when developing climate and biodiversity protection policies (Pixaby).

Opportunities for future exploitation of fungi

The team of researchers called for fungi to be given more attention when formulating policies to protect climate and biodiversity, given their ability to remove carbon dioxide, according to the university’s report. Investigating the potential for increasing the amount of carbon available in soil, identifying the fungi beneath them, discovering the actual amount of carbon they can store, and seeking to learn more about their role in Earth’s ecosystems.

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Regarding the study’s prospects, Professor Toby Gers – from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – said: “This is part of a global push to understand the role fungi play in Earth’s ecosystems. We know that mycorrhizal fungi are a very important ecosystem engineer. An important food base on Earth, but we are just getting started. .” Understanding how it works requires much more to be discovered about it,” according to the same report.

Notably, the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Sheffield is currently leading a project to further investigate the role of mycorrhizal fungi in soil carbon storage and other nutrient cycles. Improving understanding of the important role of fungi and other microorganisms in transporting carbon underground and how this may be affected by future climate change.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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