Fungi: They often go unnoticed by us, but fungi are important parts of life on the planet. In the soil alone, they represent almost half of all biomass. Scientists now want to map them around the world.
The new project of the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN), intends to collect ten thousand soil samples starting next year, starting in Patagonia.
SPUN co-founders, scientists Toby Kiers and Colin Averill plan to analyze the collected samples to identify the fungal species present in them and understand how they can help us address today’s ecological challenges.
To create the map, the researchers will count on the help of local communities, who will carry out the collection of samples. Pieces of soil will be collected from two centimeters deep, very close to the surface, and material from greater depths.
This material will be sent to research centers close to the collection sites, where the DNA of the fungi found in these samples will be extracted.