February 2005: Earth's Natural Internet - Healing the planet with mushrooms

Author: Paul Stamets 

This article describes the amazing world of fungi, one of the most prevalent and diverse life-forms on earth. Fungi form critical symbiotic relationships with other species, in ways only poorly understood. The lost of fungal species in Europe may be related to declining forest vigor.

The author has been active in exploring 'mycoremediation', including treatment of heavy oils. Fungi have shown not only to be effective at breaking down toxic substances, but also acted as 'keystone' organisms encouraging other insects and plants to populate the area.

Fungi have also proven to be useful as biological filters, removing bacteria in multiple environments. Work is underway to combine mycofiltration with John Todd's Living Machines.

We have only begun to understand the full potential of fungi, which "have survived for millennia due to their inherent ability to adapt."

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nhoeller's picture

TED Talk: Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

Tyler Hess on LinkedIn posted a pointer to the 2008 TED talk Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world.

 

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