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Plant Health

Fungal spores that develop mycorrhiza and their effect on biodiversity

Report no:

Ordered: 26.09.2019

Publishing: 05.06.2020

Key message:

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) will consider whether the introduction and release of fungal spores that form mycorrhiza could be detrimental to biodiversity.

VKM is assessing the risk at the request of the Norwegian Environment Agency.


The use of fungal spores that develop fungal roots, mycorrhiza, is increasing in Norwegian agriculture as their qualities can contribute to greater crop yields. There are studies showing that these qualities can also be detrimental to biological diversity, since they can lead to the spread of alien organisms.

The import and release of products having alien organisms requires the permission of the Norwegian Environment Agency. The agency received an application for the import of six fungi that develop mycorrhiza, leading to their request for this risk assessment.

About the assessment

VKM will describe how widespread the fungi are and identify possible dangers of their introduction and release. VKM will also investigate the consequences and probability of

  • genetic changes in local populations of the same species
  • the spread of the species outside the natural habitat
  • effects on other native species, habitats and ecosystems
  • the introduction and spread of alien organisms
  • other ecological effects

VKM will also evaluate and describe the risk of import and release.

VKM's Plant Health panel is responsible for the risk assessment, which will be published June 5, 2020.


Micael Wendell

Project manager, PhD

T: +47 21 62 28 22
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The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: 21 62 28 00
@: vkm@vkm.no

P.O. Box 222 Skøyen
0213 Oslo

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