Mycorrhizas for a changing world: Sustainability, conservation, and society

Katie J. Field, Tim Daniell, David Johnson, Thorunn Helgason

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Abstract

Mycorrhizal fungi are of huge significance for plants, people, and the planet. In addition to the fruiting bodies of many mycorrhizal fungi having great culinary, medical, and sometimes religious significance, by forming partnerships with the vast majority of land plants, mycorrhizal fungi are essential in the formation and functioning of global ecosystems. As such, mycorrhizas have great potential for future exploitation and management to facilitate a variety of sustainability programs in agriculture, conservation, and restoration, considerations that are particularly relevant during this time of global change and widespread depletion of natural resources. Summary. Mycorrhizal fungi, of all types, hold huge significance for our planet and society. By forming mutualistic symbioses with the vast majority of land plants, mycorrhizas play an essential role in the formation and maintenance of global ecosystems. They also have great potential for exploitation to facilitate a variety of sustainability programs in agriculture, conservation, and restoration, particularly relevant in the context of global climate change and depletion of natural resources. As such, in addition to the fruiting bodies of many mycorrhiza-forming fungal species being delicious, mycorrhizal symbioses are of critical and increasingly appreciated importance to human society. This editorial provides an overview of the relevance and potential roles of mycorrhizal fungi toward achieving global goals in sustainability, conservation and their significance within society, and highlights key directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalPlants, People, Planet
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • agriculture
  • climate change
  • conservation
  • ecosystem services
  • horticulture
  • mycorrhizas
  • remediation
  • restoration
  • society

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