Hidden beneath the surface and entangled in the roots of Earth’s astonishing and diverse plant life, there exists a biological superhighway linking together the members of the plant kingdom in what researchers call the “wood wide web”. This organic network operates much like our internet, allowing plants to communicate, bestow nutrition, or even harm one another.
The network is comprised of thin threads of fungus known as mycelium that grow outwards underground up to a few meters from its partnering plant, meaning that all of the plant life within a region is likely tapped into the network and connected to one another. The partnership of the roots of plants and the fungi is known as mycorrhiza and is beneficial for both parties involved; plants provide carbohydrates to the fungi and in exchange, the fungi aids in gathering water and providing nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen to its partnering plant.
This fungal network has been found to allow plants to aid one another in growth and flourishing. University of British Columbia graduate Suzanne Simard was the first to show that trees such as the Douglas fir and Paper birch were capable of transferring carbon to smaller trees that may not be receiving enough sunlight, allowing seedlings to grow in the shade of other trees. Simard believes that many of the world’s seedlings would not be able to survive if it weren’t for the lifeline this network provides.
A study conducted by Ren Sen Zeng of the South China Agricultural University found that this interconnectivity also allows for plants to warn one another of potential harm. In the study, the team grew potted pairs of tomato plants where some of the pairs were allowed to form mycorrhizae. When the fungal networks had formed, one plant of each pair was sprayed with Alternaria solani, a fungus that causes early blight disease in plant life. Air-tight plastic bags were used to assure there was no above ground interaction. After 65 hours, the team tried to infect the second plant of each pair and found that those with mycelia bonds were far less likely to contract the blight and had much lower levels of damage if they did contract it than those with no mycelia.
A similar study was done by University of Aberdeen graduate David Johnson and a team of colleagues that showed Broad Beans also utilized the fungal network to eavesdrop on one another for impending danger. As hungry aphids fed on the leaves of one of the Broad Bean plants, the plants connect via mycelia began to excrete their anti-aphid chemical defenses, while those that were not connected had no reaction.
"Some form of signalling was going on between these plants about herbivory by aphids, and those signals were being transported through mycorrhizal mycelial networks."
Like our internet, this fungal connectivity is also susceptible cyber crime, terrorism, and even warfare. Some plants, such as the Phantom Orchid, do not have the chlorophyll necessary for photosynthesis and must leech the necessary nutrients for survival from surrounding plants. Other plants, such as Golden Marigolds and American Black Walnut Trees have been found to release toxins into the network to hinder the growth of surrounding plants in the fight for water and light.
Some research suggests that animals such as insects and worms may be able to detect subtle exchanges of nutrients through the network, allowing them to more easily find savory roots to feed on; however, this has never been conclusively demonstrated in experimentation.
"These fungal networks make communication between plants, including those of different species, faster, and more effective. We don't think about it because we can usually only see what is above ground. But most of the plants you can see are connected below ground, not directly through their roots but via their mycelial connections."
The more we learn about this phenomenon, the more our understanding of the plant life of our planet will continue to change. Perhaps one day, we may be able to peacefully map out these complex fungal networks to appreciate them in their entirety.
Fleming, Nic. "Plants Talk to Each Other Using an Internet of Fungus." BBC Earth. N.p., 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.
Harley, J. L., and J. S. Waid. "A Method of Studying Active Mycelia on Living Roots and Other Surfaces in the Soil." Sciencedirect. Department of Botany, University of Oxford, England, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.
Fungi Garden Workshops
This mushroom can perennialize and take resident in your garden soil, coming back year after year if it can find a source of hardwood chips to feed on. King Stropharia tastes earthy, like asparagus cooked in a splash of wine, meaty and delicious. Both the cap and the stem are edible, so don’t trim and toss the stem like other mushrooms! It is called King Stropharia because the mushrooms can get very large, but they are best to eat when young and firm, when the caps are tight to prevent bug infestation.
KING STROPHARIA IS GREAT FOR YOUR GARDEN
King Stropharia (Stropharia rugoso-annulata), also called the “Garden Giant” or “Wine Cap” mushroom, is very good at cleaning soil and water as well. Our chicken house has King Stropharia mycelium threaded through the soil all around it, eating woodchips and straw bedding, forming a mycoremediation barrier for reducing and eliminating coliform bacteria.
Our gardens also have King Stropharia colonizing and enhancing the soil, building and binding the soil together for the plants, unlocking minerals for them, and attracting earthworms that will also contribute their valuable castings to the area.
DON'T HAVE A GARDEN OUR AN OUTDOOR SPACE?
If you don't have a garden, and would like to grow these in your house, just buy one of the 5 lb sawdust spawn bags, open it up upon receipt, and top it with some moist potting soil, about 1 inch deep, close the bag back up with a clothes pin, or some staples, so the moisture is preserved, mist often and then wait. As soon as you see buttons emerging from the soil, mist them to keep moist, so they don’t dry out and shrivel up. One of the easiest mushrooms to grow indoors!
This may be some of the most important information we ever share here at LoveClicks.org. What you are about to read holds tremendous potential to radically change the entire world in many positive ways.
Monsanto does not want this article to go viral, for if it does, it could very well bring about their demise.
In 2006 a patent was granted to a man named Paul Stamets. Even though Paul is the world’s leading mycologist, his patent has received very little attention and exposure. Why? As stated by executives in the pesticide industry, this patent represents “the most disruptive technology we have ever witnessed.” And when they say disruptive, they are referring to it being disruptive to their chemical pesticides industry.
We can no longer deny that the pesticide industry is causing incredibly detrimental effects to the earth, people, animals, plants & insects too. The rapid decline of the world’s bee populations is being attributed to Monsanto’s chemical concoctions that are being sprayed over farmers fields around the world. (Though the number of countries who have kicked out & banned Monsanto is growing) The use of chemical pesticides is a practice that absolutely must stop and new methods must be employed before it’s too late.
Yet with Monsanto generating nearly $16 BILLION dollars in 2014, they certainly do not want anything getting in the way of that money flow. That kind of revenue gives them a lot of resources and abilities to suppress information that may be damaging to them.
Like this patent of Paul Stamet’s. Paul has figured out how to use mother nature’s own creations to keep insects from destroying crops. It is what’s being called SMART pesticides. These biopesticides provide a safe & nearly permanent solution for controlling over 200,000 species of insects, and it is all thanks to the ‘magic’ of mushrooms.
I won’t go into the specifics of how it all works, for most of us won’t really understand it anyway, but to summarize, he does this by taking entomopathogenic Fungi (fungi that destroys insects) and morphs it into not producing spores. This in turn actually attracts the insects who then eat and turn into fungi from the inside out!
For those who do want to do their own further reseach on the topic, I have provided a list of links below to help you along. Read more on http://www.loveclicks.org/food/paul-stamet-patent/
Anyone acquainted with J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings knows that Hobbits are especially fond of mushrooms. In the book The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo had a run-in with Farmer Maggot after trespassing on his mushroom-abundant land as a child. Chased away by his hounds all the way to Bucklebury Ferry, Frodo quivers at the thought of stepping foot on old Maggot's land again. Long since over his grudge, Farmer Maggot gifts the hobbits with an ample supply of his famous mushrooms for their journey ahead.
Those who have experienced the mushroom madness has probably ventured forth beyond the pale of borders and fences to hunt the meaty mushrooms, which always seems to entail some kind of adventure or occasionally, misadventure. Read more...
Wild and Cultured: Musings from the GreenMan
Disclaimer: this article is meant to provoke insight into the many uses and mysteries of the mushrooms that live among us. It is not an invitation to experiment into the potentially lethal ingestion of some of the mushrooms mentioned. Consult with a experienced guide, and not merely a book or website when attempting to identify species for consumption.
Meaty, medicinal, mystical…maddening mushrooms. The allure of the mushroom in our Southern Vancouver Island rain forest climes captivates our deepest animal impulses. When on the hunt, the crazed ‘mushroom eyes’ kick in—the body becomes enveloped by an extra-sensory perception of sorts. Perhaps it is an invisible whiff of a cloud of spores on the air that alerts us to our moss-concealed cousins of the Fungi Kingdom. Whatever one may call it, this ‘mushroom craze’ may be felt as a benign form of madness. Read more http://www.sookenewsmirror.com/lifestyles/283089211.html
Here's a powerful provocation from artist Jae Rhim Lee. Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Naturally — using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms. Yes, this just might be the strangest TEDTalk you'll ever see ...Read more http://www.ted.com/talks/jae_rhim_lee?language=en#t-196999
Fungi have important biogeochemical roles in the biosphere and are intimately involved in the cycling of elements and transformations of both organic and inorganic substrates (Gadd, 2007; Fig. 1). The research area of geomycology is focused on the interactions of fungi with their geological environment.
Many macrofungal species are capable of accumulating high concentrations of various trace elements including toxic heavy metals (Hg, Cd), alkali metals (Rb, Cs), noble metals (Ag, Au), and metalloids (As, Se) in fruit-bodies and thereby affect elemental geochemical cycling.
It has been repeatedly demonstrated that a specific element accumulation by particular fungus is often species-dependent and represents a distinctive feature of particular species (or closely related group of species). Amanitas represent an interesting group of fungi with a notable ability to accumulate some elements in fruit-bodies. A multi-element study of 7 European Amanita species was published by Vetter
Read more http://www.amanitaceae.org/?Trace+Elements
Mushrooms can provide more than just taste and texture for our meals--they actually have a surprisingly high nutritional value also. With more than 14,000 kinds of mushrooms in existence, only 3,000 of those are edible and about 1,400 are actually recognized as poisonous.
Nutrients in Button Mushrooms
White button mushrooms, the popular ones you see in all the grocery stores, have a surprising amount of nutrients including:
In addition, white button mushroom extract has been found to reduce the size of some cancer tumors and slow down the production of some cancer cells. It is most prominently linked to reducing the risk of breast and prostate cancer.
A Great Weight Loss Food
For those who are always looking for nutritious weight loss foods to pack into our diets, mushrooms are a less well-known option. Mushrooms are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat and sodium. However, like watermelon, they are very high in water content (80 to 90% water) and fiber which makes them a great diet food!
Read more http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/calories/the-nutritional-value-of-mushrooms.html