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How underground fungi shape forests


by Chris Woolston, Washington University in St. LouisA large study involving 43 research plots in the Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) Network—including a swath of trees at Tyson Research Center, the environmental field station of Washington University in St. Louis—has helped clarify the power of underground fungi to shape forests.

From the tropics to the far north, fungi in the soil seem to directly determine the number and types of trees that can thrive in a given area, said Jonathan Myers, an associate professor of biology whose work at Tyson contributed to the global findings. The study was published in Communications Biology.

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