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Back to Roots – Fungi and Forest Restoration
Forest trees rely on symbiotic soil fungi to survive, grow, and tolerate harsh environmental conditions. In this webinar we will discuss the current understanding of how fungi can benefit temperate and boreal forest restoration projects. We will address promising restoration plans that actively use a group of fungal symbionts, ectomycorrhizal fungi, in sites contaminated with heavy metals, affected by soil erosion, and degraded due to clearcut logging and wildfire. We will also talk about the limitations, knowledge gaps, and possible undesired outcomes of the use of ectomycorrhizal fungi in forest restoration. We will debate about the evidence that shows that considering ectomycorrhizal fungi–host interactions could improve the chances of success of future restoration programs in boreal and temperate forests.

Speaker: Dr. Nahuel Policelli

Nahuel is an Argentinean ecologist and fungi lover that does research in mycorrhizal ecology. Most of the projects in which he is involved study how belowground biota can facilitate or hinder plants’ invasions. He graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires (2014) with a Licenciado en Ciencias Biológicas degree and did a PhD (2019) in Bariloche, Patagonia, with Dr. Martín Nuñez (INIBIOMA, CONICET- Universidad Nacional del Comahue). He has done multiple research internships in Argentina, Chile, and the US, including a Fulbright research scholarship at the State University of New York (SUNY- ESF) with Dr. Tom Horton. Currently, he is a third-year postdoc at the Bhatnagar Lab of Microbial Ecology (Boston University). Together with Dr. Jenny Bhatnagar and collaborators, Nahuel is also studying how the interactions between ectomycorrhizal fungi, free living saprotrophs, and plants can shape soil biogeochemistry in forests. Other than fungi (and plants), Nahuel enjoys travelling, cooking, and acting.

Aug 10, 2022 10:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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