A new discovery highlights the important role fungi play in helping to slow climate change. These mycorrhizal fungi are instrumental in absorbing and storing carbon dioxide.
According to the United Nations (UN), “the amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere have increased to levels not seen in three million years”. That is, according to the organization, “As the population, economy and standard of living grow —with the consequent increase in consumption— the accumulated level of emissions of these types of gases also grows.”.
Recently, a study was carried out by scientists at the University of Sheffield in England, which revealed interesting information about mycorrhizal fungi. According to this study published in the journal current biologythese fungi are estimated to store approximately 13.12 gigatons of carbon dioxide underground each year, equivalent to 36% of global fossil fuel emissions.
The study was carried out, among others, by Katie Field -Professor of Plant-Soil Processes at the University who highlighted that: “Mycorrhizal fungi are a blind spot in carbon modeling, conservation and restoration, but the numbers we uncovered are staggering. Soil ecosystems are being destroyed at an alarming rate by agriculture, development and other industries, but the wider effects of disturbing soil communities are poorly understood.”.
“By not knowing about these findings, we sabotage our efforts to limit global warming and harm the ecosystems we depend on. More needs to be done to protect these underground networks: we knew they were essential for biodiversity, but now we have evidence that they are crucial to the health of our planet.’ he added.
Underground fungal networks to stop climate change
In the fight against climate change and building a sustainable future, it is increasingly crucial to protect underground fungal networks. These networks play a key role in combating the negative effects of climate change and maintaining the ecological balance.
It turns out that these fungi have the ability to store about a third of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels. These bodies are of great importance in offsetting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieving the “net zero” target established by the United Nations, whose objective is to significantly reduce emissions, bringing them as close as possible to levels close to the steel. In addition, efforts are being made to ensure that the oceans and forests can absorb the remaining emissions.
For more than 450 million years, fungi have been present in various ecosystems such as grasslands, forests, roads, gardens and homes. Not only do these organisms store carbon and help cool the planet, they also play a critical role in preserving biodiversity.
Toby Kiers, another of the authors involved in the study, is part of the Vrije University of Amsterdam and the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks. His analysis contributes to a global effort to understand the role fungi play in terrestrial ecosystems.
Mycorrhizal fungi play a key role in the food webs that sustain life on our planet. Although we are still in the early stages of understanding how they work, much remains to be learned about these organisms and their ecological importance.
Biodiversity and ecosystems
As the importance of biodiversity is increasingly recognized, we now have concrete evidence that living things are essential to maintaining the health of our planet.
The scientists who carried out this study highlight the importance of valuing mushrooms and the need to preserve them. It is essential that policy makers consider these findings when formulating policies and actions for their conservation.
Human activity is causing an alarming degradation of soil ecosystems, which has serious consequences. According to UN estimates, it is expected that by the year 2050, approximately 90% of soils will be in a state of degradation. This situation may have negative consequences not only for the fight against climate change and rising temperatures, but also for agricultural and plant productivity.
Researchers’ quest to curb climate change
Experts are conducting studies to determine the duration of carbon storage by soil fungi, as well as the role they play in ecosystems. This research seeks to learn more about how fungi contribute to the carbon cycle and how they can influence the health and stability of our ecosystems.
To protect the health of our soils, it is essential to stop degradation and promote sustainable practices that protect the integrity of underground fungus networks. These networks play a crucial role in ecological balance and are essential for maintaining the health of Earth’s ecosystems.
By promoting eco-friendly practices, we can preserve these valuable natural resources and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. This action will not only help reduce the effects of climate change, but will also ensure the health of the ecosystems we depend on for food and well-being.
With information from: https://www.delabahia.com.ar/