Mushroom Hunting – What Lies Beneath

Mushroom Hunting What Lies Beneath Ambience: Walking through leaves A walk in the woods just after a rain is a perfect time to go hunting for mushrooms. But a mushroom is only the visible part of a much larger organism. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Work: I look at mushroom hunting as something that fulfills my need for hunting and gathering, without going out and killing something. It’s treasure hunting, and it brings me to a place where I need to pay attention to the here and now. Dave Work is former president of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association. Work: I am looking for certain kinds of trees, trees that are down, stumps that might be rotting. Fungus is responsible for most of the decomposition of trees and other organic material in the forest. If fungus didn’t exist, we would be completely buried under many, many feet of un-decomposed material.A fungus is not just the mushroom. The mushroom is actually the fruit of a larger organism, most of which you do not see. View the fungus as an apple tree and the apple is the mushroom. So the larger part of the fungus may be underground. The “root”, if you will, of a fungus is the mycelium. They can be microscopically small and they can also extend into miles in square miles in size. We’ll hear more on mushroom hunting in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research. You can hear this and previous programs on our podcast.

Mushroom Hunting - What Lies Beneath

A mushroom is the visible part of a much larger organism.
Air Date:08/01/2016
Scientist:
Transcript:

Mushroom Hunting What Lies Beneath Ambience: Walking through leaves A walk in the woods just after a rain is a perfect time to go hunting for mushrooms. But a mushroom is only the visible part of a much larger organism. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Work: I look at mushroom hunting as something that fulfills my need for hunting and gathering, without going out and killing something. It's treasure hunting, and it brings me to a place where I need to pay attention to the here and now. Dave Work is former president of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association. Work: I am looking for certain kinds of trees, trees that are down, stumps that might be rotting. Fungus is responsible for most of the decomposition of trees and other organic material in the forest. If fungus didn't exist, we would be completely buried under many, many feet of un-decomposed material.A fungus is not just the mushroom. The mushroom is actually the fruit of a larger organism, most of which you do not see. View the fungus as an apple tree and the apple is the mushroom. So the larger part of the fungus may be underground. The "root", if you will, of a fungus is the mycelium. They can be microscopically small and they can also extend into miles in square miles in size. We'll hear more on mushroom hunting in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research. You can hear this and previous programs on our podcast.