Postdoc opportunity in Microbial Ecology of Forest Soils

Mushrooms in a forest.

The Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology of the Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences is looking for a motivated postdoctoral fellow to join the international consortium of HoliSoils, an H2020 project that explores the effects of forest management on ecosystem processes such as greenhouse gas fluxes, C storage and biodiversity preservation. The selected candidate will be involved in the study of the structural and functional response of the soil microbiome to forest management, disturbances and global change across Europe and will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading groups in this research field.

Read all the details about this position and find out how to apply!

Researchers propose ectomycorrhizal fungi’s role to be integrated into carbon accounting 


Researchers from the University of Helsinki, Natural Resources Institute Finland and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences propose that the role of the ectomycorrhizal fungi should be taken into account in models of carbon accounting.

A new study led by the University of Helsinki provides evidence that the observed decline of carbon use efficiency and net ecosystem exchange from south to north in the boreal forest may be caused by the abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi. 

The proposed approach could easily be included in carbon balance models for quantifying ectomycorrhizal fungi carbon use without having to engage in more complex analysis of carbon and nutrient interactions underlying ectomycorrhizal fungi processes. 

“The results of the study underline the need for a better understanding of the role of micro-organisms as users of carbon but also as a machinery generating carbon residues that may have longer lifespans,” says the first author of the study Annikki Mäkelä from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki. 

The study suggests that this approach can improve prediction of biomass growth across different soils with different microbial composition.  

More accurate prediction of biosphere carbon sinks

According to researchers these features of ectomycorrhizal fungi as carbon consumers and litter producers should also be incorporated into global vegetation models in order to have more precise and accurate prediction of biosphere carbon sinks and their feedbacks to climate change.  

Carbon use efficiency, i.e., the ratio between net and gross primary production, describes the efficiency of vegetation to accumulate photosynthetic carbon to biomass. Other uses of carbon include maintenance and construction respiration. In this study, ectomycorrhizal fungi were included as additional consumers of plant-originating carbon. 

Read the full article


Mäkelä A., Tian X., Repo A., Ilvesniemi H., Marshall J., Minunno F., Näsholm T., Schiestl-Aalto P., Lehtonen A. 2022. Do mycorrhizal symbionts drive latitudinal trends in photosynthetic carbon use efficiency and carbon sequestration in boreal forests? Forest Ecology and Management, 520:120355.

Contact Information

Annikki Mäkelä

Tel. +358 41 5106515

Aleksi Lehtonen

Tel: +358503912362
Twitter: @aleksi_luke

John Marshall

Tel: +46 722480477

Discover the GlobalFungi Database

Mushrooms on a tree

The GlobalFungi Database collects published data on the composition of the fungal community obtained through the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) method and provides access to this information though an effective online interface.

NGS methods have completely transformed how fungal ecology is understood, and innovations brought forward by high-throughput-sequencing methods have led to an abundance of fungal sequencing data. Observing this, a team of researchers from the Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague decided to create the GlobalFungi Database to make this data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (according to the FAIR Principles) allowing users to access this data in a convenient way.

The GlobalFungi Database collects information on fungal communities in every terrestrial habitat (soil, litter, dead plant material, living plant tissues, water, air, dust, etc) excluding those subject to experimental manipulation. The website encourages members of the scientific community to participate by submitting more data on the database; Holisoils website has a page with information on how to use GlobalFungi database to submit your study.

Have a look at the GlobalFungi Database!