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Dried mushrooms slow climate warming in Northern forests
Date:11/3/2008

ected to hit northern latitudes hardest, raising temperatures between 5 and 7 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

The scientists conducted their experiment in a spruce forest near Fairbanks, Alaska. They built small greenhouses and identified similar unheated plots nearby to serve as controls. Both plots received equal amounts of water.

In mid-May when growing season began, air and soil temperatures were the same in greenhouses and control plots. When greenhouses were closed, air temperature rose about 5 degrees Celsius, and soil temperature rose about 1 degree.

The scientists took measurements in the greenhouses and unheated plots and found that by growing season's end in mid-August, soil in warmed greenhouses produced about half as much carbon dioxide as soil in cooler control plots.

A soil analysis found that about half as much active fungi were present in experimental greenhouse samples compared with samples from the controls. When fungi dry out, they either die or become inactive and stop producing carbon dioxide, the scientists said.

"It's fortuitous for humans that the fungi are negatively affected by this warming," said Treseder, ecology and evolutionary biology associate professor. "It's not so great for the fungi, but might help offset a little bit of the carbon dioxide we are putting directly into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels."


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Contact: Jennifer Fitzenberger
jfitzen@uci.edu
949-824-3969
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

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