NASA specialists have developed a unique method for detecting various forest mushrooms underground using images from space. The fact is that in each forest there is a large population of fungi, which together with the surrounding trees and other plants forms a single biosystem.
We are talking about the so-called mycorrhizal fungi that have grown for many kilometers underground. They perform a very important function of recycling forest debris, while returning the minerals they need, in particular glucose, to the trees for the process of photosynthesis. According to Richard Philips, a biologist at the University of Louisiana, almost all tree species interact with one of two mycorrhizal fungi.
Since both types of mycorrhizal fungi react differently to climate change, knowing their habitat, scientists can make predictions about the state of the forest for the next period.
For example, a team led by Joshua Fisher of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena (California) and the University of California has developed a technique for detecting a hidden mushroom network using satellite images.