The famous araucaria of Chile

The multinational research team had come to collect soil samples that they hoped. With the help of DNA testing, would reveal exactly what fungi live here and. How they support this complex set of flora . At the end of a grueling day that included brushing through heavy undergrowth, the mushroom hunters had filled seven small plastic bags with soil The famous araucaria from different locations. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there are undescribed species” of mushrooms in each bag, said mycologist Giuliana Furci , founder of the nonprofit Chilean Mushroom Foundation and one of the expedition’s leaders. April’s ascent was also a road test of sorts: the first of many surveys.

It has raised about million for

Ambitious effort to map the global distribution of mycorrhizal fungi, which can create underground networks that are thought to play a key, but often overlooked, role in shaping ecosystems . “ Up to % of the living biomass in soils are these networks ,” says Belgium WhatsApp Number List ecologist Toby Kiers of VU Amsterdam, co-founder of SPUN and one of the leaders of the expedition  to Chile. ” We have to find out where they are and what they are doing .” SPUN’s approach is bold, even bombastic . The project launched last fall with a media-savvy campaign, including clever videos, arguing that society must do more to study and protect fungi to safeguard biodiversity and curb climate change . SPUN researchers describe themselves as  heading into the unknown.

Some researchers however, harbor

Doubts that SPUN ‘s mapping effort will have much practical impact. Noting that conservationists are already protecting forests and other ecosystems that host fungi and store planet-warming carbon. A single class of microorganism seems to me too Cayman Islands WhatsApp Number List limited to reach. An understanding of the general picture  says  But SPUN’s effort to make soil. Fungi more visible is being welcomed by most mycologists. Who often feel as overlooked as the organisms they study . “I don’t think anything like this has happened before. says Kabir Peay, a mycologist at Stanford University who advises. It is incredible that there are philanthropists who have the vision and interest to support this type of activity.

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