Pollution is hitting the fungi that nourish European trees

 A ten-year European study  recently published in Nature led by Imperial College London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, researchers showed that tree characteristics and local air and soil quality have a large impact on mycorrhizae. They examined 40,000 roots from 13,000 soil samples at 137 forest sites in 20 European countries. The team proposed that some community changes result in more ‘parasitic’ mycorrhizae: those that take carbon but give little back in the way of nutrients.

A major finding of the study is that European pollution limits may be set far too high. In the USA the limits are set much lower, and current European nitrogen limits may need to be cut by half. One of the more interesting conclusions was how new comparative genetic, physiological and ecological models of ectomycorrhizal community optimization versus parasitism under changing carbon and nitrogen conditions need to be developed to better understand the scope of the impact of anthropogenic nitrogen 

A report from science daily found at  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180606132709.htm

Primary Literature as source found at:

SN – 1476-4687
URL – https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0189-9
DO – 10.1038/s41586-018-0189-9
ID – van der Linde 2018


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