What are the functions of mushrooms
The recycling specialists in our forests
Mushrooms are ubiquitous suppliers of nutrients
No living thing has been judged as differently in the course of history as the potentially immortal mushrooms. In the Middle Ages it was believed that mushrooms were not living things. Later they were assigned to plants, today they are recognized as a separate kingdom alongside plants and animals.
Velvet hood - Photo: Helge May
Fungi do not have photosynthesis pigments, but rather get their food from dead or living organisms. Thanks to their tiny, easily spreading spores, which are often formed in enormous quantities, fungi are ubiquitous and yet rarely apparent. Many can only be seen under a microscope, almost all of them grow hidden as a finely branched network in the respective substrate. We are most likely to perceive those species that form fruiting bodies. The fruit bodies are short-lived, spore-forming structures that we commonly refer to as fungi. The truffles, porcini mushrooms or morels, which are revered as culinary delicacies, are only the stages of reproduction of the species, similar to the apples of the apple tree.
Even 30 years after Chernobyl, fungi are still radioactively contaminated. How much depends on the type of mushroom and location. Fungi in eastern and southern Germany are the most heavily contaminated. Forest mushrooms have increased radioactivity, including tubular mushrooms such as chestnuts or birch boletus. The types of mushrooms that grow on wood are least polluted, such as the yellow chanterelle or the frilled mother hen. As long as you consume the mushrooms found in normal quantities, there is no need to panic.
Mushrooms and their importance for the natural balance
- Together with the bacteria, fungi form the decomposition organisms (destructors) in the material cycle of our ecosystems. For example, they break down wood, dried up leaves, fruits, but also horn and fats. In doing so, they return nitrogen compounds and other substances to the soil, which are then available to plants and animals again. This "recycling" task makes mushrooms the nourishment of the forest from an ecological point of view.
- Mushrooms also play a key role as symbiotic partners. Particularly noteworthy are lichens as a community with algae and the mycorrhiza, translated as "mushroom root", as a partnership between fungi and vascular plants. Most of our trees live in symbiosis with such fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi cover the fine roots of the tree, collect nutrients and convey them to the plants together with water. In return, the fungus receives the substances it needs for its life, especially sugar, proteins and vitamins
A threat to the forests means a threat to the fungi. In connection with research on forest dieback, it was recognized as early as the 1970s that forest dieback is preceded by fungus dieback or is linked to it. Many mushrooms are very sensitive to environmental pollution and are therefore reliable indicators of contamination. Many native mushroom species are endangered or have already died out. If the extinction of species in the forest is to be stopped, we must campaign for natural management and large-scale protected areas.
Subscribe to Newsletter
Explore the fascinating underwater world of the Baltic Sea - all without snorkels and fins, from home or on the go!Dive in now
Do you have questions?
- What is the demand for rugged tablets
- What functions has iOS copied from Android
- Why should I drive a car
- Will knee injuries recover naturally
- Where are you are you fine
- What does the sentence mean, even if it means
- How do I kill a computer
- Is AIDS a sexually transmitted disease?
- Who reads in Arabic
- What is smart advertising
- Shall we live in pairs?
- Why is life full of disappointments
- Can I get a wheelchair through Medicare?
- What causes drop foot syndrome
- What do numismatists think of Bitcoin
- What Difference Augmented Reality Virtual Reality Examples
- How do i go to boston
- Can you decipher the word Cupdeor?
- Why was artificial intelligence created?
- Design contractor structures
- Why do people smoke
- How can I never be unhappy?
- Why is GateForum good
- External Scrum certification is useful