Project: Understanding and Managing Urban Ectomycorrhizal Fungi Communities to Increase the Health and Ecosystem Service Provisioning of Urban Trees

Acronym URBANMYCOSERVE (Reference Number: 25)
Duration 28/02/2017 - 28/02/2020
Project Topic As 80% of the EU population is expected to live in urban areas by 2020, the quality of the urban environment is of growing importance. Urban trees are key elements in mitigating the common environmental problems in urban areas, through provisioning crucial ecosystem services such as air quality improvement, decrease of water runoff and microclimate mitigation. However, urban trees typically face harsh environmental conditions, resulting in reduced health, and potentially jeopardizing ecosystem service provisioning. Because of their well-known host tree benefits, Ectomycorrhizal Fungi (EcM) may play an important role in urban tree management, improving tree vigor, and thus the extent and resilience of ecosystem services delivered by urban trees under stress. Our knowledge of the EcM community of urban trees, of its drivers, and of which role these fungi, or specific functional groups, play in sustaining tree health and tree ecosystem service delivery is very limited. The aim of this project is (i) to provide an assessment of the EcM community and functional group composition of urban trees, and of its environmental drivers, using next generation sequencing techniques; (ii) to relate specific EcM, or functional groups of EcM, to tree health, and tree ecosystem service delivery and resilience, using advanced noninvasive spectral and physiological sensing technology, diameter growth measurements, and urban biophysical modeling; and (iii) to develop and test (in situ & ex situ) a dedicated EcM-inoculum to improve urban tree health, and ecosystem service delivery and resilience.
Network BiodivERsA3
Call BiodivERsA3 Joint Call 2015

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Leuven - Division of Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Coordinator Belgium
2 INRA -- Integrative Physics and Physiology of Fruit and Forest Trees Partner France
3 University of Leuven - Division of Forest, Nature and Landscape Partner Belgium
4 Strasbourg University- ICUBE Partner France
5 Universidade Católica Portuguesa Partner Portugal