Climate change has an unlikely foe: The humble mushroom

Ecto- and ericoid mycorrhizal (EEM) fungi can soak up 70 percent more carbon than other ’shrooms, keeping all that carbon outta the atmosphere. Now THAT’s a magic mushroom!

A gaggle of researchers just pitted 200 dirt samples against each other to see which held the most carbon, and soil with EEM fungi won. Basically, EEM fungi suck up nitrogen from soil, stealing it away from soil microbes and giving it to grateful plants. Then stuff can’t decompose as quickly, so the soil retains carbon instead of putting it out into the atmosphere. EEM fungi slurp nitrogen faster than most fungi — including arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, which are way more common.

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