SGC From our inbox to you From: The David Suzuki “Science Matters” on the “Magic” of Mushrooms

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SGC From our inbox to you From: The David Suzuki Foundation on the “Magic” of Mushrooms

The many marvels of the mysterious mushroom

mushrooms Stock Vector - 47073372 http://www.123rf.com: Copyright : Volha Zhylich

Until 1969, biologists thought mushrooms and other fungi were plants. They’re actually more closely related to animals, but with enough differences that they inhabit their own distinct classification.

This and more recent findings about these mysterious organisms illustrate how much we have yet to learn about the complexities of the natural world. New research reveals mushrooms can even help plants communicate, share nutrients and defend themselves against disease and pests.

There’s far more to mushrooms than the stems and caps that poke above ground. Most of the organism is a mass of thin underground threads called mycelia. These filaments form networks that help plants, including trees, connect to each other, through structures called mycorrhizae.

Scientists believe about 90 per cent of…

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