The gap between mycorrhizal science & application: relevance, research from an arid region, and tips for managers and practitioners during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Lisa M. Markovchick*, Vanessa Carrasco-Denney, Jyotsna Sharma, José Ignacio Querejeta, Kara Skye Gibson, Randy Swaty, Derek A. Uhey, Abril Belgara-Andrew, Zsuzsi I. Kovacs, Nancy C. Johnson, Thomas G. Whitham, Catherine A. Gehring

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Planting material shortages are constraining restoration, while climate change exacerbates the need for restoration and reduces plant recruitment. Concurrently, research shows that protecting and restoring native mycorrhizal fungi (symbiotic with plant roots) appropriate to plant provenance and site conditions meaningfully accelerates restoration, supports crucial ecosystem services, and provides natural climate solutions (sequestering carbon), and nature-based solutions for climate change (climate adaptation). In this webinar, we’ll discuss research results from the arid southwestern United States, as well as the gap between science and implementation with regard to mycorrhizal fungi, and the tools for practitioners, presented in our recent Restoration Ecology review paper. We’ll review examples of the ecosystem services and benefits mycorrhizae and mycorrhizal restoration are known to provide, highlighting when and why mycorrhizae should be considered in management, regeneration, and restoration. We’ll also discuss action items and implementation tips for land managers and restoration practitioners to help lead the way in closing this gap and improving land management and restoration outcomes during the United Nation’s Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. *Indicates speaker.

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Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program