Mycorrhizal fungi are the key to carbon sequestration in conventional agriculture
Exciting results on CO₂ sequestration by mycorrhiza
CO2 sequestration with plants and fungi?
Mycorrhizal fungi with their special properties as an important store of carbon.
CO₂ sequestration with plants and fungi?
Mycorrhizal fungi with their special properties as an important store of carbon
About 75% of all carbon on Earth is stored in the soil, and mycorrhizal fungi are crucial in bringing carbon into the soil food web. According to the researchers, mycorrhizal fungi can store a significant amount of carbon due to their special properties. This makes mycorrhizal fungi an important global carbon store, generating up to 50 % of the net primary productivity (NPP) of a plant partner in the subsoil when the host plants are associated with the most important mycorrhizal types.
The glomalin-related soil proteins (GRSP) also play a not insignificant role here, binding carbon in the soil via their compounds and having positive effects on it.
Conservation of agricultural soils through CO₂ sequestration with mycorrhiza
Mycorrhizal fungi are the bridge to soil health for all farmers who want to permanently improve and maintain their stock of organic carbon (SOC). The studies also examined how tillage affects soil properties. GRSP in particular has been shown to be a safe storehouse of carbon in the soil, even in conventional tillage systems.
How can mycorrhiza improve agricultural soils?
Natural CO2 sequestration as climate protection
What is CO2 sequestration?
CO₂ sequestration is the storage of carbon dioxide in the deep underground/soil. In order to reduce human emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, various methods are used to store the GHG underground. For this purpose, geological formations such as coal seams, oil deposits, etc. have been identified as possible CO₂ reservoirs, but deep-sea storage is also being investigated. The CO₂ to be stored can come either from fossil energy supply plants, from industrial plants or from the use of biomass for energy production.
How do mycorrhizal fungi store CO₂?
Mycorrhizal fungi use carbon to form extensive networks of fine threads called hyphae. Fungal hyphae form a vast network that allows plants to draw water and nutrients from a much larger area. This living underground network contributes to the development of plants, the formation of soil ecosystems and the maintenance of the global carbon balance. In the process, different types of mycorrhizae store different amounts of carbon. The largest group of ectomycorrhizal fungi bind an estimated 9.07 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per year.
Mycorrhiza as a gigantic carbon reservoir
According to scientistic Estimations the plants on land are giving up to 13.1 billion tons of CO₂ to mycorrhizal fungi. This amount accounts for about 36 percent of global annual greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. And that even exceeds China’s CO₂ emissions, which are the highest in the world. The magnitude underlines the important role of fungi and soil ecosystems for climate and nature. However, it is still unclear how long the carbon is stored by the mycorrhizal fungi and how much of it is released back into the environment. The researchers therefore call for greater consideration to be given to fungi in future conservation and environmental measures, and for further research into their functions.
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