Mediterranean forests are currently facing serious abiotic and biotic stresses. The most prevalent abiotic stress is drought. Climate change models predict that the Mediterranean will be exposed to more frequent and severe droughts, which can in turn exacerbate forest fires. Forests are also affected by biotic stresses, including a variety of pests and pathogens that weaken and kill forest flora, putting the health of the whole forest ecosystem at risk. These Mediterranean forests serve as biodiversity refuges and important carbon sinks. Fungi are a fundamental pillar of biodiversity, both below ground (mycelia) and above ground (mushrooms), support numerous ecosystem services, and may serve as a defining tool for forests to adapt to climate change.
LIFE MycoRestore seeks to utilise diverse mycological resources and forest management practices to contribute to the biological resilience of Mediterranean forests. It also aims at generating new income sources and ensuring the stability of forest ecosystem services while addressing the effects of climate change.
The projects main objectives are to:
Expected results: The LIFE MycoRestore project will demonstrate sustainable forestry activities using mycological resources on 305 ha of Mediterranean forests, increasing their resilience to climate change and enhancing the ecosystem services they provide. This is directly linked to the EU Forest Strategy, EU Biodiversity Strategy, the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation, and EU strategies on Adaptation to Climate Change and Climate Change Mitigation. The project is also aligned with the EU Circular Economy Strategy and the Biomass Action Plan.
Specifically, the project expects the following results: MycoForestry:
During replication, the size of the area will be scaled 10 times, to at least 3 015 ha by expanding activities into other sites and also into greater areas of the demonstration sites that total 18 034 ha.