Is the Role of Fungi Beneficial or Detrimental to Old-Growth Trees in the Face of Climate Change?

– Fungi play a crucial role in nutrient cycling, aiding in the decomposition of organic matter and recycling nutrients back into the ecosystem, which can be beneficial for old-growth trees.
– Mycorrhizal fungi form symbiotic relationships with trees, aiding in nutrient uptake and enhancing tree resilience against environmental stressors.
– Certain fungi can help trees adapt to climate change by improving their resistance to pathogens, pests, and drought.
– Fungi contribute to the overall diversity and stability of forest ecosystems, promoting ecosystem health and resilience.
– Fungal networks, such as mycelium mats, can help connect trees and facilitate the exchange of resources, including water and nutrients.

– Some fungi can cause diseases in trees, potentially leading to their decline or death.
– In certain cases, fungal infections can weaken trees, making them more susceptible to other stressors such as pests or drought.
– Climate change may alter fungal communities, potentially favoring pathogenic fungi and putting old-growth trees at risk.
– Fungal-driven decay processes can contribute to wood degradation, affecting the structural integrity of old-growth trees.
– Fungal outbreaks, such as those caused by invasive species, can disrupt forest dynamics and negatively impact the health of old-growth trees.


In areas affected by climate change, mycelium mats could be the key factor.