It is no secret that the Earth’s biodiversity is under threat. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature26% of all mammals, 14% of birds and 41% of amphibians are is currently under threat worldwidemainly due to human impacts such as climate change and development.
Other life forms are also under pressure, but they are harder to count and evaluate. Some scientists warn mass death of insectsalthough others say the case has not been proven. And then there is mushrooms—Microbes that often go unnoticed, it is estimated 2 to 4 million species. Less than 150,000 fungi have received official scientific descriptions and classifications.
If you like bread, wine or soy sauceor took penicillin or immunosuppressive drugs, thanks to the mushrooms that make all these products possible. With the exception of baker’s yeast and champignons, most mushrooms go unnoticed and thrive hidden in darkness and dampness. But scientists agree that they are valuable organisms that should be protected.
How mycologists whose work on biodiversity includes study of mushrooms interacting with centipedes, plants, mosquitoes and real mistakes, we have dedicated our careers to understanding the critical role of mushrooms. These relationships can be beneficial, harmful or neutral to the fungus’s partner organism. But it would not be an exaggeration to say that without fungi that break down dead matter and process its nutrients, life on Earth would be impossible to know.
A healthy ecosystem needs mushrooms
The amazing biological kingdom of fungi includes everything from bracket fungi, forms and yeast office mushrooms and more. Fungi are not plantsalthough they are usually stored near fresh food in grocery stores. In fact, they are closer to animals.
But mushrooms have some unique features that distinguish them. They grow by budding or long, often branched, filamentous tubes. Mushrooms are usually formed for reproduction controversy, stage of spread and dormancy. Instead of taking food into your body to eat, mushrooms secrete enzymes into food to break it down and then absorb the sugar that is released. The kingdom of fungi is very diverse, so many fungi disrupt mold.
Mushrooms play an important role in ecology around the world. Some of them are building important partnerships plant roots for hundreds of millions of years. Others break dead plants and animals and the return of key nutrients to the soil, so are others life forms can use them.
Fungi are one of the few organisms that can destroy lignin, the main component of wood that gives plants their rigidity. Without mushrooms our forests would be littered with huge piles of wood debris.
Yet other fungi form a unique relationship with insects. Flavodon ragweedwhite rot fungus not only serves as a major food source ragweed beetles that breed mushrooms, but it is also rapidly out of competition with other wood-dwelling fungi, allowing these beetles to build large communities of several generations. Similarly, leaf-cutting ants to raise Leucoagaricus gongylophorus as food, collecting dead plant matter in their nests to feed their mushroom partner.
Mostly an unknown kingdom
We can only partially appreciate the benefits of mushrooms, as scientists have a narrow and very incomplete view of the mushroom kingdom. Imagine you are trying to assemble a puzzle from 4 million pieces with only 3% to 5% pieces. Mycologists are trying hard to officially describe the biodiversity of the Earth’s fungi, while assessing the conservation status of different species and tracking losses.
International Union for Conservation of Nature Red list of endangered species currently includes 551 fungi compared to 58,343 plants and 12,100 insects. About 60% of them are listed species of fungi are gill fungi or lichenized fungi, which are a very narrow sample of the fungal kingdom.
When asked what a fungus looks like, the average person will probably imagine a fungus, which is partly correct. Fungi are “fruit bodies” or reproductive structures that produce only some fungi. But most fungi do not form fruiting bodies that are visible to the eye, or such at all, so these “microfungi” are largely ignored.
Many people see mushrooms as scary or disgusting. Today, although positive interest in fungi is growing, species that cause diseases such as the cunning fungus amphibians and white nose syndrome y bats– still more attention than mushroom games essential, useful roles in the environment.
# Fungi are crucial to life on earth. At the head of @fungifoundationIUCN initiative, Red List partners @IUCNssc and @rewild ensure the integration of fungi in #saving strategies together with fauna and flora: https://t.co/gasLcBvEGi # mushrooms of the future pic.twitter.com/HiBsQFlcTK
– IUCN Red List (@IUCNredList) August 11, 2021
Protect our fungal future
Even with limited knowledge of mushroom status, there is growing evidence climate change threatens them as well as plants, animals and other microbes. Environmental pollution, drought, fires and other disturbances – all contribute to the loss of valuable mushrooms.
It’s hard to motivate people to care about what they don’t know and don’t understand. And it is difficult to create effective programs to preserve mysterious even for scientists organisms. But people who care about fungi try. In addition to IUCN Mushroom Conservation Committeecoordinating global mushroom conservation initiatives are diverse non-governmental organizations and nonprofits advocate fungi.
Over the past two years, we have seen a surge in public interest in everything fungal home cultivation kits and cultivation courses office increased enrollment in local mycological societies. We hope that this new adoption can benefit mushrooms, their habitats and the people who study and manage them. One indicator of success would be if people asked not only whether the mushroom is poisonous or edible, but also whether it needs protection.
Delegations from most countries will meet in China this fall major conference on biodiversity conservation. Their goal is to set international benchmarks for the preservation of life on Earth for many years to come. Mycologists want the plan to include mushrooms, yeast and mold.
Anyone who is interested in the outdoors can use community science platforms, such as iNaturalistto report your mushroom sightings and learn more. Joining Fr. mycology club this is a great way to learn find and collect mushrooms responsiblywithout overdoing or damaging their habitats.
Mushrooms form important networks and partnerships around us in the environment, moving resources and information in all directions between soil, water and other living things. For us, they are an example of the power of communication and cooperation – valuable traits in this shaky phase of life on Earth.
Citation: Besides flora and fauna: why it’s time to include mushrooms in global conservation goals (2022, May 17) obtained May 17, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-05-flora-fauna-fungi- global-goals .html
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