Scientists Are Mapping Fungi to Combat Climate Change

The Society for the Protection of Underground Networks, made up of scientists from six countries, is mapping underground networks of mycorrhizal fungi to protect them from the threats of the climate crisis and improve their carbon-sink ability. Scientists believe this is the first time such an effort has been undertaken.

Millions of miles of these fungal networks are thought to exist throughout the world and are essential to soil structure and fertility. The fungi also connect to plant roots and remove carbon from the host plant, exchanging the carbon for nutrients such as phosphorus, essentially feeding the plant.

 

Famed conservationist Jane Goodall is advising the project. ‘An understanding of underground fungal networks is essential to our efforts to protect the soil on which life depends before it is too late,' she says.