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Understanding the building blocks of our natural world - fungi research at Kew

Kew’s specialist expertise is revealing the links between tree health, air pollution and climate change.
Myriostoma coliforme specimen (Image: RBG Kew)

Kew's fungi experts

Kew's Filipa Cox studies tiny thread-like fungi (mycorrhizal fungi) which grow out from the root tips of trees and take up nutrients in the soil.

Our specialists are part of an international research team revealing the links between tree health, air pollution and climate change. This work will support the health of forests and the forestry industry into the future.

Filipa says “I love fungi! It’s fascinating how two totally different organisms like trees and fungi live together and support each other. My research in these forests, among Scots pine trees and bilberry bushes, helps to show how these complex forest communities are all connected underground by the fungi.”

Kew's fungal herbarium is the best reference collection of preserved fungi in the world. If you want to identify a puffball or truffle in the UK, you might use a guide based on essential scientific fungal inventories and research published by Kew.

“Whatever is that?” Kew gets asked this question several hundred times a year as people send in samples and photographs for identification. Recently we were sent a rare pepperpot fungus (Myriostoma coliforme, above), thought to have become extinct in the UK in the 1800s.

With so much expertise based at Kew, we can find the answer to your question.


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