What role does the fungi play in the ecosystem? The importance of fungi in nature
If you talk about mushrooms, the first thing that comes inhead - autumn forest, quiet hunting. Still it is possible to recollect about a yeast, cheese with a mold and penicillin. But what about the role of the fungi in the ecosystem, why do they need nature, few people think about it. Let's talk about this.
Harm or benefit?
They say that if we put one scales on the scalethe benefits that a person receives from these organisms, and the other - their harm, the cups will be balanced. Although, arguing about the role of fungi in the ecosystem, it is impossible to raise the question. Nature is important and everything is needed.
Mycology, which studies fungi, is considered one of the branches of botany. But mushrooms have long been isolated in a separate kingdom. That is, there is a kingdom of plants and separately - the kingdom of mushrooms.
One of the main features is thatThe structural carbohydrate in the cell wall of these organisms is chitin. It is also an integral part of the outer skeleton of insects, arthropods. Chitin has interesting properties, one of which is the ability to remove harmful substances from the human body, reduce the cholesterol content. At the same time, because of it, fungi are considered to be heavy food. Children up to 6-7 years of age are better off not being given, breastfeeding mothers are also better not to eat them. The enzyme system of the child can not cope with such a product.
Why does nature need mushrooms?
One of their main functions is decomposition,processing of organic residues. As a result of biodegradation of dead plant and animal organisms, carbon and minerals return to the natural cycle.
Fungi participate in the processes of soil formation,affect their structure, composition and even the temperature regime. In fact, when rotting, the temperature of decomposing residues rises. This is well known to vegetable farmers who grow vegetables in warm beds.
Mushrooms in the process of their life createbiomass from mycelium and fruiting bodies (what we have known since childhood as fly agaric, russula, birch bark, etc.). They are fed not only by people, but also by insects and various animals.
Invaluable is the importance of fungi in the creation of mycorrhizas. It turns out that mushrooms not only destroy trees, but can be useful for them. In nature, the phenomenon of symbiosis is widespread - beneficial for both organisms coexistence.
Mycorrhizas form an association of filaments of mycelium androots of trees. The fungus receives nutrients from the higher plant in an accessible form and, in turn, helps it to extract water and phosphorus from the soil. The tree actually has additional roots.
Mycorrhizas may be external, surrounding the roots, butalso can penetrate inside. Between the cells of the two organisms there is an active metabolism. What role does the fungi play in the ecosystem in this case? The life of the forest is simply impossible without them, especially in arid areas.
On the verge of survival
In places where the climate is severe and the vegetation is veryscanty, fungi form symbiotic communities not with trees, but with algae, known as lichens. They can be found in the tundra and desert, on rocks, buildings, bark of trees - where there would seem to be no life for life. But the mushrooms extract water even from the air, from the dew, and the algae converts carbon dioxide into light for organic food.
The living of new spaces, the development of organic materials in these places - this is another meaning of fungi in nature.
By way of life and method of nutrition, mushrooms are divided into:
- soil saprophytes (champignon, govorushka, morelok);
- xylophils parasitizing living or decomposing dead trees (real giblets, turtles);
- Mikoriznye, creating a symbiosis with the roots of plants (white, poderezozovik, moss).
Fungi-coprofiles live on manure piles, on carfily fires.
And some mushrooms are able to "hunt". Their prey may be amoebae, insects, nematodes. The filament of the fungus sticks to the victim, envelops in mucus, some even are able to strangle it, then germinate inside and feed on it. This is another example of the role that fungi play in the ecosystem.
Huge and many-sided
Visible to humans world of fungi isa tiny part of the existing variety of their species. Mushrooms, photos and names of which are familiar from childhood - it is a fly agaric, a white, an apron, a russula, a pale toadstool and many others. They are in children's coloring books and culinary books, reference books on emergency medicine and pharmacology textbooks. Mushrooms for humans can be exquisite food and deadly poison, able to treat and cause disease, save and destroy crops, make habitation unfit.
From the mushrooms began the era of antibiotics in medicine. Now more and more evidence is used to raise immunity, fight against oncological diseases of tinder lacquered, Cordyceps, Shiitake, etc.
Such they, our visible and invisible, necessary and dangerous neighbors.