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Thread: Fungi

  1. #241
    Mushroom production during pandemic in Poland going relatively well

    At the very beginning of the pandemic, manufacturers limited the production of substrate. After three weeks, there were significantly fewer mushrooms on the market. At the moment, the production of the substrate is relatively normal.

    The pandemic has caused great instability in trade. Order for five cars suddenly turns into two cars. It is known that the mushrooms will sell out by Christmas, but then there is a 'dead period'.

  2. #242
    The key to fighting future pandemics? Old-growth forests, says mushroom guru Paul Stamets

    The large, gnarled, woody-looking layered mushroom, more specifically the polypore Fomitopsis officinalis, is about the size of a toddler’s torso.

    Its dull outward appearance belies the invaluable medical properties agarikon — and a host of other fungi — might possess, said Stamets, who has been on the hunt for the endangered mushroom for decades.

  3. #243

    “Happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” So goes the first line of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina.” Little did the Russian novelist know his famous opening line would one day be used to describe microbial communities, their health and their relationships to their hosts.

    “It’s this idea that an unhealthy or stressed host to a microbiome has a more diverse microbiome than its healthy counterpart,” said UC Santa Barbara ecologist An Bui, a graduate student researcher in the lab of theoretical ecologist Holly Moeller. The diversity, she said, is a response to variable conditions that may in turn indicate an unstable or stressed environment. “Healthy hosts are probably going to have very similar microbiomes,” she said, “while unhealthy hosts are different in their own ways.”

    To get a sense of how warming could affect California’s woodland soil fungal community, the team sampled soils at sites along an arid (dry) to mesic (moderately moist) climactic gradient at the Tejon Ranch in the Tehachapi mountains.

    “As it turns out, the fungal communities are completely different,” Bui said. “And the hottest, driest sites have the highest number and the greatest diversity in fungal species.” True to the Anna Karenina hypothesis, the trees under the more arid, stressful conditions had the most diverse and dispersed fungal communities.

    But, while the larger fungal communities varied from site to site, Bui said, the communities of mutualists within them tended to remain the same, save for small shifts within the mutualist populations to select for traits that could be more useful under the circumstances.

    “When we looked at ectomycorrhizae and arbuscular mycorrhizae, those communities were more similar across climactic conditions than the whole fungal community,” she said. “So there’s a possibility that host association for mutualists at least buffers that shift in community structure the whole fungal community experiences.”

    If so, the benefit could be reciprocal, according to the researchers. Buffering the fungi from climate change preserves their function, which could, in turn, conserve their host trees’ function in the face of a changing California woodland ecosystem.

  4. #244
    The Fungal Matryoshka: fungal sporocarps house diverse and host-specific communities of fungicolous fungi.

    The formation of a fruit body is a key stage in the life cycle of many fungi. Still, sporocarps are vulnerable, as they can be readily eaten by birds and small mammals, colonised by invertebrates or infected by parasites. The complexity of communities thriving inside sporocarps is largely unknown.


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