On July 16th and 17th, LIFE MycoRestore celebrated its kick-off in Salamanca, Spain.
The project (LIFE18 CCA/ES/001110) has received funding from the LIFE Programme under the priority area of Climate Change Adaptation. To read a short summary of the project follow this link.
IRNASA-CSIC, the project leader, hosted the event at their facilities. The consortium is comprised of 9 project partners from Spain, Portugal and Italy. It is a diverse group of individuals from the public and private sector and includes 2 research institutions, 4 SME’s, 1 university, 1 foundation and 1 social enterprise. Together they will implement LIFE MycoRestore which intends to create impact on biological, social and economic levels using a variety of mycological resources and forest management practices. See the expected results here.
During the first day of the reunion, project partners presented their expertise and the work they will be carrying out during the project. Later, they sat down together to plan in detail the first technical and administrative steps that need to be taken to ensure the first few months of activities are a success. All partners were enthusiastic about the project and are looking forward to working together over the coming years.
On the second day, some individuals took a field trip to the demonstration site at Cubo de Don Sancho – a low-density dehesa ecosystem that is suffering from the presence of Cerambyx welensii, a beetle which targets and destroys old trees. The fungal pathogen Phytophthora is also present and contributes to oak decline in the area. Some activities to be carried out in this demonstration site include
- Soil inoculation of non-edible fungal species to increase fungal biodiversity, enhance tree health, water retention, drought tolerance and resistance to pests and pathogens
- Soil inoculation of edible fungi to provide a commercial harvest & improve ecosystem services
- Planting mycorrhized vegetation (shrubs & trees) to support regeneration since natural regeneration of plant life is hindered by the active presence of cattle
- Limestone amendments to increase the alkalinity of the soil
- Inoculation of native, non-mushroom producing fungal species which will act as biocontrol agents against the pests and pathogens present
Overall the kick-off meeting was a great success, providing inspiration and organization to begin this exciting new LIFE project.