Fungi as predictors of climate change effects

October 3, 2019 — Fungi can influence nearly every aspect of ecosystem function, especially processes that occur in soils. Environmental processes that involve fungi can be used to predict the outcomes of various climate change scenarios. 

Kathleen Treseder studies fungi in ecosystems that are endangered by climate change, including Alaskan forests, Costa Rican cloud forests, and Californian shrublands. She will give a talk titled “The Role of Fungi in Mediating Ecosystem Response to Climate Change” on Tuesday, November 12th as part of the Francis E. Clark Lectureship on Soil Biology. The lecture is part of the Embracing the Digital Environment ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

“Fungi conduct decomposition as they break down organic material to obtain energy and nutrients. In doing so, they release carbon dioxide as a by-product. On the other hand, to tolerate environmental stress, they can strengthen cell walls by incorporating organic compounds that form residues in soils for years to decades or longer. In this way, they can contribute to soil carbon storage.”

She will present findings of her study on climate change experiments in an Alaskan boreal forest and a Costa Rican cloud forest.

For information about the “The Role of Fungi in Mediating Ecosystem Response to Climate Change” talk, visit

For more information about the Embracing the Digital Environment 2019 meetingvisit are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 25, 2019 is required. Visit for registration information.

To speak with Dr. Treseder, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, to arrange an interview.

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