Preliminary observations of the shear behaviour of fungal treated soil

Emmanuel Salifu, Gráinne El Mountassir

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Contributionpeer-review

24 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents results of an investigation into an entirely novel technique for ground improvement involving the use of fungal hyphae. Fungal hyphae (long filamentous branches) are known to contribute to soil aggregation and soil hydrophobicity, and are hypothesised to also influence the hydro-mechanical behaviour of soil. We present here preliminary observations of the mechanical behaviour of sands treated with the fungal species Pleurotus ostreatus (P. ostreatus). Direct shear tests were carried out on sand containing different percentages of organic substrate (the nutrient source for fungal growth) and treated with P. ostreatus. The stress-strain behaviour of fungal treated and untreated soil was investigated. Results show that irrespective of the percentage of organic matter, fungal treated specimens tended to show a loss in the peak behaviour characteristic of the untreated control specimens and an associated transition towards a more contractive volumetric response. The limited experiments conducted to date appear to indicate that the main factor responsible for the differences in behaviour between treated and untreated specimens is due to lubrication of the grains by the fungal hyphae and exudates. Further investigation is required to fully elucidate the mechanisms influencing the mechanical behaviour of fungal-treated soils.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11017
Number of pages6
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019
Event7th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 201928 Jun 2019


  • ground improvement
  • fungal hyphae
  • soil aggregation
  • soil hydrophobicity


Dive into the research topics of 'Preliminary observations of the shear behaviour of fungal treated soil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this