Study identifies dominant fungi and their attributes on the planet's soils | 5/31/2019 | Staff
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An international research team including University of Alicante researcher Fernando T. Maestre has identified a list of some 80 species of dominant fungi that can be found in soils all over the world. The study, published in Nature Communications, identifies the attributes that allow these species to be so dominant on a global scale, and how they are associated with certain soil and climate characteristics. This information is key to understanding the impact of climate change on these organisms.

The fungi that live in the soil play a key role as decomposers of organic matter in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Thus, these microorganisms control an essential process for maintaining soil fertility, which in turn is essential for food production. However, understanding the distribution and ecology of these fungi is still a challenge, partly because of their high diversity and the difficulties associated with their identification and study.

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Scientists from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Spain, including UA researcher Fernando Maestre, have characterized the fungal populations that inhabit soils around the globe via sampling carried out in 235 ecosystems on all continents, including desert areas, tropical forests and polar ecosystems. The researchers have found that about 80 species (less than 0.1 percent of the fungal species found) comprise about 20 percent of the populations...
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