1 Tahrcountry Musings: New research adds a new dimension to the role of mycorrhizal fungi in forests

Friday, April 15, 2016

New research adds a new dimension to the role of mycorrhizal fungi in forests

Dr. Tamir Klein and Prof. Christian K├Ârner of the University of Basel together with Dr. Rolf Siegwolf of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have discovered that forest trees trade large quantities of carbon with their neighbours. This exchange is conducted via symbiotic fungi in the soil. Carbon dioxide that carried a label was used to arrive at the finding.
The researchers discovered that roots of the neighbouring trees also showed the same marker, even though they had not received labelled carbon dioxide. This included trees from other species. The only way the carbon could have been exchanged is via the network of tiny fungal filaments of the shared mycorrhizal fungi.
Details appear in the latest issue of journal Science


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