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Ectomycorrhizal Mushrooms as a Natural Bio-Indicator for Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution

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Environmental changes and heavy metal pollution are some of the consequences of anthropogenic activities. Many ecosystems, including edaphic ecosystems, suffer from the effects of pollution. The accurate assessment of soil heavy metal contamination leads to better approaches for remediating soils. The exploration of different ways, including biological methods, to conduct environmental monitoring is still ongoing. Here, we focus on reviewing the potential of ectomycorrhizal fungi as a natural indicator of soil heavy metal pollution. Mycorrhizal fungi fulfill basic criteria required as natural bio-indicators for heavy metal contamination. These fungi use different mechanisms such as avoidance and tolerance to survive in metalliferous soils. Thus, we promote ectomycorrhizal fungi as natural indicators. This review also synthesizes existing research on ectomycorrhizal mushrooms as natural bio-indicators for heavy metal pollution and the elaboration of mechanisms, by which ectomycorrhizal fungi meet the criteria required for a successful bio-indicator.

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