Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Diane Thomson

Reader 2

Mia Maltz

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Deforestation is becoming a more prominent issue than ever before as it endangers a number of beneficial ecosystem services and worsens climate change by increasing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Thus, research focus has shifted towards restoring deforested areas to help recapture and store the emitted carbon as a way to mitigate carbon-induced global warming. However, researchers are beginning to understand that restoration goes beyond the scope of just restoring trees. Restoring the soil community is essential to providing a successful foundation for reforestation, and can be achieved through the use of mycorrhizal fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi can form mutualistic relationships with a plant, increasing their chances of surviving in harsh environments. Recent studies emphasize the importance of the identity of a fungus, the impact of fungi on seedlings, fungal influences on the overall nutrient consumption of a host plant, and lastly, the major effects on biodiversity both below-and above-ground. The research shows that fungi are a viable option to consider when discussing reforestation projects, as the usage of mycorrhizae significantly improves the success of reforestation efforts. Future research should continue to focus on the benefits of fungi in different areas but should consider comparing forests before deforestation to the reforested area aided by fungi in order to examine whether or not there are particular differences between the two that can be accredited to fungi.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.