Mycorrhizas and biomass crops: opportunities for future sustainable development

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


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 CO(2) sequestration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-549
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number10
Early online date10 Sept 2009
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • soil carbon sequestration
  • short-rotation coppice
  • arbuscular mycoeehizal
  • root colonization
  • community structure
  • organic material
  • salix-viminalis
  • plant-growth
  • fungi
  • ectomycorrhizal
  • mycorrhizae
  • biomass
  • carbon
  • conservation of natural resources
  • ecosystem
  • forestry
  • soil microbiology


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