Mushroom map: fungi-filled forests, psychedelic mushrooms, and wild mushroom foraging
mushroom map are home to one of the country’s most diverse collections of edible and medicinal mushrooms. But while mushrooms are often the focus of foraging adventures, few people know how much fungi help our planet, including storing carbon dioxide and replenishing soil nutrients.
Fungi are also under pressure from agriculture, urbanization, and water scarcity, and as climate change continues to disrupt ecosystems, scientists are increasingly focused on ensuring fungi have the chance to grow and thrive. The underground networks that fungi build in the soil are an important part of the “circulatory system” of the Earth, as they act as nutrient “highways,” exchanging carbon for a wide range of plant nutrients.
Mushroom Spores vs. Seeds: Key Differences and Similarities
Despite these roles, few are aware of the vast underground network of fungi that can stretch for millions of miles. Scientists believe there may be trillions of such fungi in the world, but they are mostly underground and invisible to most people.
However, these fungi are critical to the health of plants and our planet. They can store up to eight times as much carbon as a single tree, they are important climate mitigators, and they help replenish nutrient levels in our soils.
To protect these vital species, researchers are mapping the vast underground networks of fungi. By understanding where these networks form and how they work, scientists can better monitor and understand their role in the Earth’s nutrient cycles and climate mitigation efforts.