49. The conservation and protection of grassland fungi
Prof Gareth Griffith


Researchers at Aberystwyth University (AU) developed a novel DNA metabarcoding method using soil eDNA, and deployed it as a method for rapid assessment of fungal biodiversity in grassland habitats.

The method has been used in commercial and legal contexts, providing evidence and enabling faster decision making for: designation of one site in Birmingham as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) - the first ever use of eDNA for this purpose; decisions in four planning applications; and sanctioning two landowners who contravened Environmental Impact Assessment land-use regulations.

These interventions had direct commercial and environmental impacts, and improved public service.

Impact on public understanding and participation was achieved through several citizen science projects in training of citizen scientists in DNA barcoding, and TV programmes, films and apps raising awareness of fungal conservation.


Further Information

Prof Gareth Griffith

Academic Department

Department of Life Sciences