Networks of underground fungi will be mapped to protect these systems from damage. These networks use carbon to build their systems in the soil, which connect to plant roots and act as ‘highways’ for the exchange of carbon from the roots for nutrients. Also known as the ‘circulatory system of the planet,’ these fungal networks can extend for many miles without being noticed.
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These networks are under threat because of agriculture, urbanization, pollution, water scarcity, and changes to the climate. To protect fungi, which are vital to soil fertility, the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN), will collect 10,000 samples of these fungi around the world to understand these underground networks for better conservation efforts.
Image credit: Biosphoto/Alamy