Fungi Is The Latest And Probably Ultimate Solution To CO2 Problem

Dhir Acharya - Dec 27, 2018

Fungi Is The Latest And Probably Ultimate Solution To CO2 Problem

These farmers are working with scientists to implement carbon sequestration into agriculture, hopefully decreasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere has risen so high that scientists are relentlessly searching for effective solutions to tackle this matter. One of them is a process called carbon sequestration, where carbon is captured. Hence removed from the air and stored for a long time.

In Australian, a team of farmers is working with scientists to take advantage of fungi’s power in soils. Considering the dry conditions of Australia, raising the carbon levels in soils can help keep more water, hence boost the farming conditions.

Researcher Guy Webb from SoilQuest has fun with fungi, all in the name of science.

Guy Webb, a researcher at SoilCQuest

Apparently, when more carbon is kept in the soil, there is more fresh air, solving the issue of greenhouse gases, global warming, and climate change.

In Forbes and Trangie, New South Wales, in Jack Farthing and Mick Wettenhall have trialed large plots planted with newly isolated fungi to conduct carbon sequestration in mass volume on their farm animals as well as grains properties at their farms.

Initially, a research team from the University of Sydney, led by Peter McGee, isolated the fungi in soils in Sydney Basin and trialed the process in their lab.

The research was then published in Soil Research, reporting that certain strains of MEF (melanized endophytic fungi) can potentially raise organic carbon levels in lab experiments with controlled soil. MEFs, aka dark septate endophytes, are a large group of species living in plants that produce melanin. This melanin is a stable form of carbon which doesn’t easily break down like linear carbon compounds.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho melanised endophytic fungi

When this kind of fungi is integrated into the soil, it not only raises the levels of soil carbon but also helps store carbon in the long term.

The research previously in the lab has now made its way to field tests.

First, researchers inoculate the fungi into plant seeds. Next, they put these seeds into a planter, and later they sow them.

It is claimed by the research team that when this process is implemented on larger scales, they can capture millions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere. Not-for-profit agricultural organization SoilCQuest has kept track on this new technology, hoping it will improve agricultural productivity while help tackle the carbon issue.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho using fungi to capture carbon

The research lately appeared in Grassroots, an award-winning documentary of 2018, when it was shown at SCINEMA film festival in Australia.

Guy Webb, a researcher at SoilCQuest, says soil microbiology is a scientific area that has been underrated for a long time.

He added that we know little about the complex ecosystem underground while the plants we eat rely on the interaction with tiny organisms like fungi, nematodes, and bacteria, to live.

According to Webb, the soil is the most massive sink for terrestrial carbon on Earth, and farmers, who manage it are affected the most by climate change.

Back on the farm, Wettenhall, as a farmer, says it’s vital to rapidly implement these measures in agriculture since increasing soil carbon levels is the only way out for them.

Apparently, farmers like Farthing and Wettenhall must develop reliable and feasible technologies for agriculture to have a future.


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