Yoka and the Mycelium
"Is this the largest organism in the world? This 2,400-acre [970-hectare] site in eastern Oregon had a contiguous growth of mycelium before logging roads cut through it. Estimated at 1,665 football fields in size and 2,200 years old." (Paul Stamets)
Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus. One of the primary roles of fungi in an ecosystem is to decompose organic compounds. Petroleum products and some pesticides present a potential carbon source for fungi. Hence, fungi have the potential to eradicate such pollutants from their environment.
- Fungi have been called 'Earth's natural internet' (www.bbc.com)
Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus. While mushrooms might be the most familiar part of a fungus, most of their bodies are made up of a mass of thin threads, known as a mycelium. We now know that these threads act as a kind of underground internet, linking the roots of different plants. That tree in your garden is probably hooked up to a bush several metres away, thanks to mycelia. The more we learn about these underground networks, the more our ideas about plants have to change. They aren't just sitting there quietly growing. By linking to the fungal network they can help out their neighbours by sharing nutrients and information – or sabotage unwelcome plants by spreading toxic chemicals through the network.
Mycelium can save the world (www.permaculture.co.uk)
Paul Stamets, the master of mycorrhiza, describes how to isolate the radioactive material at Fukushima, specifically Cesium 137, and reduce its impact on the surrounding land and its wildlife and people. Youtube link!