Essential mushrooms

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 | Nature @ Your Service

The mushrooms that we see in the woods are just a small part of the world of fungis. Mushrooms are hard working species in all kinds of environments. Together with microorganisms they decompose all leaves, needles and other organic material into nutrients that keeps the soil fertile. Up to 90 per cent of all plants are dependent on fungi roots, mykorrhiza. In one gram of soil in a Swedish forest 6 miles of mushroom roots. These microscopic roots help the plants to get nutrients and also protect it from toxins. In exchange the mushrooms get sugar from the plants photosynthesis. Without these species our forest would soon drown in its own waste and die from malnutrition. This relationship has been discovered to be very important for tree growth and hence in forestry. Modern forestry has just started to find methods that are “mykorrhiza-friendly”.

Chantarelles, image courtesy Sara Borgström

Chantarelles, image courtesy Sara Borgström

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