Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Understanding the role of mycorrhizas in global carbon cycle processes

How the global distribution of vegetation stands dominated by arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal plants relate to principle aspects of belowground carbon accumulation processes?

2017 - 2021

Short abstract

This project aims to identify links between global distribution of mycorrhizas and soil and vegetation carbon pools.

Project description

Soil carbon sequestration is an important but hardly  understood mechanism counterbalancing atmospheric CO2 emissions and thereby climate change. An important biotic determinant of soil carbon transformations is mycorrhiza, a plant-fungal symbiosis featured by nearly all vascular plants on Earth. Mycorrhizae have different forms, among which arbuscular and ectomycorrhiza (AM and EM) are the most wide-spread. Growing evidence suggests that vegetation stands featuring either mycorrhizal type differently relate to key principle aspects of belowground carbon accumulation processes.  In this project we investigate how these relations are expressed at global scale and what how are they affected by key environmental drivers: climate, soil properties and human induced land-transformations

global distribution of carbon sequestered in mycorrhizal vegetation
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