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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Mycorrhizas and biomass crops: opportunities for future sustainable development

Rooney, Deirdre C.; Killham, Ken; Bending, Gary D.; Baggs, Elizabeth; Weih, Martin; Hodge, Angela


Central to soil health and plant productivity in natural ecosystems are in situ soil microbial communities, of which mycorrhizal fungi are an integral component, regulating nutrient transfer between plants and the surrounding soil via extensive mycelial networks. Such networks are supported by plant-derived carbon and are likely to be enhanced under coppiced biomass plantations, a forestry practice that has been highlighted recently as a viable means of providing an alternative source of energy to fossil fuels, with potentially favourable consequences for carbon mitigation. Here, we explore ways in which biomass forestry, in conjunction with mycorrhizal fungi, can offer a more holistic approach to addressing several topical environmental issues, including 'carbon-neutral' energy, ecologically sustainable land management and CO2 sequestration.

Published in

Trends in Plant Science
2009, Volume: 14, number: 10, pages: 542-549

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    Agricultural Science
    Renewable Bioenergy Research

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