Protect the underground

SPUN joined researchers and local experts in Patagonia to ground-truth maps of predicted mycorrhizal fungal diversity.

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Society for the protection
of underground networks

Fungi support much of life on earth. SPUN is a science-based initiative founded to map mycorrhizal fungal networks and advocate for their protection.

In collaboration with researchers and local communities, we aim to accelerate efforts to protect underground ecosystems largely absent from biodiversity and climate agendas.

Underground networks

Over 475 million years of evolution, mycorrhizal fungi have evolved abilities that have shaped the living world. Underground ecosystems are astonishingly diverse and remain largely unexplored.

L. Oyarte Galvez, AMOLF

Climate action

Mycorrhizal fungi are one of the biggest untapped levers in climate science. Billions of tons of carbon dioxide flow from plants into mycorrhizal networks each year. These carbon flows help make soils the second largest global carbon sink, after oceans.

Climate action →

Threats

Mycorrhizal fungal networks support much of life on Earth. When we destroy them, sabotage our efforts to limit global heating and jeopardise the health and resilience of the ecosystems on which we depend.

Threats to networks →

Underground Explorers

Our underground explorer program will work with local teams of underground explorers, or ‘myconauts’, to map the fungal networks of planet Earth. Together with the Crowther Lab at ETH, Zurich, we are mapping the biodiversity hotspots of network-forming fungi.

Photo of SPUN co-founder Toby Kiers

SPUN Team

SPUN is a non-profit science initiative founded to map fungal networks, advocate for their protection and accelerate the underground climate movement. We are an international network of scientists, activists and local communities dedicated to protecting the underground ecosystems that sustain all life on Earth.

About SPUN →

Take action

Help protect and restore the fungal networks that regulate the Earth’s climate and ecosystems.