Fungi are among the most diverse organisms on earth. There are thousands of important fungi that live underground within and around tree roots in temperate forests.
 These fungi help shape the structure and composition of forests and are important in determining forests capabilities of withstanding climate change. 

Forest biologist are starting to discover where these fungi live. Every year, Forest Fungi Project citizen scientists explore forests to collect soil and root samples from temperate forest tree species. Our lab processes the roots and soils to discover the fungal species that live in your area.

The Forest Fungi Project is a citizen science project launched in 2015 by the Lankau Lab at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Our goals are: 1) to educate citizen scientists on the importance of fungal communities in forests, and 2) to determine the biogeography (where a species lives) of forest fungal species associated with temperate trees for every state east of the Mississippi River.   

Participation is easy and fun!

1. Visit a forested area. *Please get permission for collections.

2. Identify trees of species included in the Forest Fungi Project Tree Species List (see tab in top menu).  

3. Dig a small hole near the base of the tree and collect root and soil samples. 

4. Record GPS coordinates of your collection location. 

5. Enclose samples in a properly labeled ziplock bag.  

6. Ship collections to the Forest Fungi Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison!

For a more detailed sampling protocol, please navigate to the "Sampling" tab in the top menu

--- Get involved today! ---