Mycorrhizal networks increase the volume of water that the soil can absorb, reducing the quantity of nutrients leached out of the soil by rainfall by as much as 50%. They make plants less susceptible to drought and more resistant to salinity and heavy metals. They even boost the ability of plants to fight off attacks from pests by stimulating the production of defensive chemicals.
Mycorrhizal fungi are keystone organisms that support planetary biodiversity; when we disrupt them, we jeopardise the health and resilience of the organisms on which we depend. Fungal networks form a sticky living seam that holds soil together; remove the fungi, and the ground washes away.