Today’s Solutions: January 26, 2022

The first global map of the complex web of roots, bacteria and fungi beneath the ground known as the “wood wide web” has been built by researchers amid fears it is under threat by climate change. Using data from 1.2 million forest tree plots in more than 70 countries, scientists from Switzerland and the US have developed a visual model of “mycorrhizal fungi networks” – a type of fungus that allows plants to draw more nutrients and water from the soil.

Similar to an MRI scan that helps medics understand how the brain operates, this global map of fungi networks can help scientists understand how ecosystems around the world work. It is believed the findings could help shed light on how the unseen world is important to limiting climate change and how damage to the network could accelerate temperature rises.

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