Presentation on theme: "GROUP 4 PROJECT WAYS IN WHICH MUSHROOMS CAN SAVE THE WORLD By-Julie, Lynette, Yuvreet, Simone, Parita, Monica, Wendy."— Presentation transcript:
GROUP 4 PROJECT WAYS IN WHICH MUSHROOMS CAN SAVE THE WORLD By-Julie, Lynette, Yuvreet, Simone, Parita, Monica, Wendy
"The time to act is now. Waiting for science and society to wake up to the importance of these ancient Old Growth fungi is perilously slow and narrow in vision. The meager attempts thus far may be too little, too late. Unless we collectively pool our resources, the mushroom genome will become increasingly threatened, and therefore, our very existence may be at stake. The loss of these keystone organisms should be an ecological call-to-arms for all concerned about our children's future and the future of this planet.” -Paul Stamets
Topic- Ways mushrooms can save the world Question- In what ways and to what extent can mushrooms save the world?
I NTRODUCTION From something that is so small, so common, and insignificant to us and all the big troubles that the world face, comes groundbreaking advances and solutions. Paul Stamets and his team of researchers have discovered the new technology of using mushrooms and fungi to help improve conditions, to improve the health of this planet. Below, are some of the ways in which mushrooms can help save the world.
P AUL S TAMETS American mycologist, author Discovered four new species of mushrooms On the editorial board of The International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms Has written six books on mushroom cultivation
WAYS IN WHICH MUSHROOMS CAN SAVE THE WORLD Mycoforestry Mycomedicines Mycopesticides Mycoremediation
MYCOFORESTRY Mycoforestry is the employment of fungi to sustain forest communities. It can be used to achieve the following: Enhancement of replanted trees Economic diversity Recovery and recycling of woodland debris Preservation of native forests Strengthening sustainability of ecosystems
1. E NHANCEMENT OF REPLANTED TREES AND ECONOMIC DIVERSITY o Reforestation efforts are greatly enhanced when mycorrhizae are introduced to sprouting seeds or to the roots of young trees before or at the time of planting. o Apart from the economic benefits of forests, the long term impacts like the climatic impacts and reduction of desertification play an important role to help us realize the significance of reforestation and more importantly, the role of fungi. o For instance, the window of opportunity for harvesting timber is relatively short, and with each harvest, the soil is depleted. o After 3 replantings, companies end up selling the land because the forth planting obviously won’t produce as much yield as the first three. But if high-value mushrooms such as matsutake are harvested, there is a steady rise in the economic benefits. o This results in agriculture, without depleting the land of its nutrients. It can also be called sustainable agriculture
2. R ECOVERY AND RECYCLING OF WOODLAND DEBRIS After loggers haul trees away, vast debris fields remain behind. Until this wood debris decomposes, its biomass is locked away from the food web and is therefore unavailable to bacteria, protozoa, insects, plants, animals, and fungi. What if selectively introduce mushroom species such as saprophytic fungi, the first species to feed on dead wood? It will help speed up decomposition Triggers habitat recovery Decomposition cycles become more balanced
3. P RESERVATION OF NATIVE FORESTS AND STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY OF ECOSYSTEMS Mushrooms become launching platforms for growth of bacterial populations Bacteria regulate inputs and outputs of nitrogen Mycelium absorbs phosphorus from its surroundings. It helps these mineral salts mover over distances. These salts are released when mushrooms rot or mycelium dies Essential minerals like phosphorus, zinc and potassium are re deposited back into the nutritional bank Ecosystems benefit from this cycling catastrophes strike, saprophytes lead the way toward renewal This supports construction of complex life-supporting soils
NOTABLE MYCORRHIZAE AND TREES THEY PREFER Non-Gourmet Mycorrhizal Mushrooms ENDOMYCORRHIZAE/EC TOCORRIHIZAE Preferred trees Glomus intradices Pisolithus Tintorius Rhizopogon parksii Endomycorrhizae endomycorrhizae cedars, redwoods pines deciduous Gourmet Mycorrhizal mushrooms ENDOMYCORRHIZAE/EC TOCORRIHIZAE Preferred trees Boletus edulis allies Cantharellus cibarius allies Hydnum repandum Endomycorrhizae Pine Oaks, firs Firs * note: ENDOMYCORRHIZAE/ECTOCORRIHIZAE endomycorrhizae are also known as vescular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM) endomycorrhizae are more common than ectocorrhizae
EXPERIMENT: THE CORTES ISLAND MYCOFORESTRY RESEARCH PROJECT In 2003, clear cut land purchase on Cortes Island, BC to demonstrate mycoforestry strategies that offer traditional forestry method (burning debris on clear-cut land) Experiment compare the effects of introducing mycorrhizae and the effects of topdressing of wood chips as a source of delayed-release nutrients and to help retain moisture. Objective: re-establish the old-growth forest for future generation
Sample 100 trees per test plot, profile by growth, needle development, overall health for next 100 years By September 2004, sampled 700 trees with with/without mycorrhizal treatment. Result: 8 and 7% increase in height Goal: observe effects of 4 treatment combo in which provide critical data for comparing mycoforestation strategies
MYCOFORESTRY: USING MUSHROOMS TO PREVENT FOREST FIRES Causes of forest fires: Natural cause: lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions, combustion of peat logs, meteorite impact Human cause: Recreationists (campers, anglers, berry pickers etc), railway activities, humans made surrounding susceptible to fires as water used for agricultural/urban use, rotating tree crops thins soil Forest fire disasters: Burnt landscape vulnerable to erosion Reduce forest fires will protect forests, firefighters, and houses Forest fire prevention: Ecological benefit of wood-decomposing mycelium is that it creates erosion-resistant soil Mulching reduces aerial wood debris in forests and increases moisture retention; If mycelium-inoculated wood chips are used, further increasing moisture retention and reducing the threat of fire
Counter-Argument on wood chips: growing mycelium on wood chips increases global warming Counter-counter argument: Carbon dioxide does cause global warming, but the output by fungi is nothing like that generated by fires. Fungi recycle much of carbon dioxide gas back into the ecosystem Benefit of leaving wood chips on forest floor Delay release of nutrients – to build soils Supporting microfiltration membranes that reduce erosion and siltation Providing cavity habitats for diverse populations of bacteria, fungi, plants, insects, and animals Moisture retention protection against forest fires
MYCOMEDICINES Mycomedecines is the development of powerful and yet to be discovered antibiotics that are potentially highly active against viruses and biological warfare agents (use of biological weapons (bacteria, viruses) to harm people).
W HY MUSHROOMS WORK Mushrooms show antibacterial as well as antiviral properties and to treat certain viruses and diseases, both are required. Mushrooms have immuno-modulating and anti- inflammatory properties that can help the immune system respond without a malfunction.
H ISTORY OF M YCOMEDICINES Traditions of Native Americans: In history, polypores were being used to help against the diseases brought by the Europeans. These included Birch polypore, Reishi (Ganoderma resinaceum), Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor), Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) and Agarikon (Fomitopsis officinalis). Many mycomedicines were referenced in European medical literature (will be mentioned with the type) Modern research into mycomedicinals began in the late 1960's in Japan when a pioneer, Dr. Ikekawa saw that families of mushroom growers had significantly lower cancer rates than their surrounding communities.
T YPES OF M USHROOMS Birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus): A traditional dewormer (gets rid of intestinal parasites) Tinder fungus (Fomes fomentarius): Burn the flesh of wounds to prevent bleeding or infection Both Birch polypore and Tinder fungus are polypores. Named because they have pores instead of gills underneath. They are not poisonous, they grow on trees, dead or alive, and they are hard and fibrous so not usually edible. They are taken in the form of tea, or placed on a wound or over an aching body part. Agarikon It was listed by Dioscorides in the Materia Medica in 65 B.C. as a treatment for tuberculosis. K. Grzywnowics published an article in 2001 titled Medicinal mushrooms in Polish Folk Medicine where he states that Agarikon tea was historically used in his country as a remedy for lung conditions, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, open bleeding and infected wounds. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is known as the "Mushroom of Immortality". It is made reference to in Shen Nong's Herbal Classic from around 2,000 years ago. Cordyceps: From the Tibetan plateau, infesting with parasites on silk caterpillars. Athletes to improve physical stamina commonly use it and historically it has been used as an aphrodisiac Shiitake mushroom: One of the most researched mycomedicinals in the world. It has been used for many different reasons from energizing tonic to immune-booster and antibiotic with anti-tumor properties
C URRENT P ROJECTS “Our team has isolated a two-molecule complex more than twelve times more potent than cidofovir medication (for patients with AIDS) against pox viruses, with much less toxicity… We believe we have found a new antiviral medicine. ” Paul Stamets Stamets teamed up with some US universities to test on mushroom-based compounds Stamets currently has twenty-six strains of Fomitopsis officinalis (Agarikon) In-vitro tests are being conducted to discover possible new medicines “We have evidence that this fungus [Fomitopsis officinalis ] is dually active against DNA (pox, herpes) and RNA (flu) viruses. The anti-tubercular, anti-E.coli, and anti-staph effects are also being explored.” Stamets and his team are also working on breaking new ground on Malaria and AIDS.
I MPLICATIONS OF M YCOMEDICINES Environmental Many types of mushrooms are endangered Mushrooms like Agarikon can be used for many purposes and can be studied much further, but it is very rare and close to extinction The study of mycomedicines is in early stages so “preserving mycodiversity is very important, and this can only be preserved if the forests are too” Economic Even though it could save money, mycomedicines cannot be grown at home. They are best grown in laboratories to assure purity. Social Discovery of a new antiviral medicine that is less toxic than medicines we have now Scientists are working on finding cures for sicknesses and diseases as mentioned in the current projects
M YCOPESTICIDES A chemical-free alternative to controlling damaging insect species. Manufactured products that contain living fungi and are used to control pests
Natural way for pest control Less toxic They are relatively specific, generally affecting only the target pest and closely related organisms, in contrast to broad spectrum The agents often are effective in very small quantities and often decompose quickly, generally lowering exposure and largely avoiding the pollution problems caused by conventional pesticides Decreasing the use of conventional pesticides Pathogenicity Toxicity/mutagenicity (due to biologically active molecules synthesized by the pathogen) Irritation Allergies Competitive displacement of other (biocontrol) organisms Genetic instability of the fungal biocontrol agent Undesirable microbial contaminants during the production Carriers, additives and adjuvants AdvantagesDisadvantages
M YCOREMEDIATION The usage of mushrooms to help: Break down toxins Rebuild soil Repair and maintain the balance of nature
S OIL The fungi produce oxalic acids, C 2 H 4 O 4, which reacts with calcium, as well as many other minerals, to form calcium oxalate, CaC 2 O 4. Basically, the acid produced by the mushrooms would be able to break down rock, to form soil. The mycorrhizal forms billions of networks in soil, around the roots of many different plants.
The fungi increase absorption ability and capacity in the soil. It will be able to hold much needed water and nutrients, and aid the plants in the surrounding areas. Due to its ability to form networks and its absorption ability, the fungi will be able to hold the soil together, and create a more ‘spongy’ soil. This type of soil would be able to be much better at avoiding erosion.
Better soil would be able to help with one of the world’s biggest crisis; scarcity of resources. Better soil would lead to more luscious plants, better fertility. Extremely beneficial to the agriculture industry. Anti-eroding soil would lead to a much better allocation of resources (one of the main economic, world goals). For example, much of north and western China – like many other places in the world - are in the process of desertification, leaving thousands of kilometres of land unusable, and uninhabitable. This fungi method would help combat the desertification, as it will help maintain moisture in the soil, allowing a diversity of plants to grow, which in turn would bring in bacteria, insects, birds, mammals, new ecosystems. However, bringing in new ecosystems would possibly mean the destruction of the old ones, in which many other species of plants and animals could be lost. Also, new fertile land would lead to human exploitation of this land. The land could be used for agriculture, forestry, etc, which contributes to providing more resources. On the other hand, more land could also lead to more negative exploitation, leading to more pollution, creation of new disease, population problems, poverty etc. As much as the mushrooms, and other methods, will help save the planet, many other issues, social, political, ethical, economical, etc, must also be addressed and changed in order for these method to truly work.
B ALANCE OF N ATURE Once again, the fungi are able to form billions of networks. These networks form billions of pathways and thus the organism is able to ‘communicate’ with incredible speed. If one section is damaged or destroyed, the fungi are able to respond and quickly repair the damage. The networks also communicate the availability of plant and animal debris. The mushrooms would break down the debris into essential elements of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, iron, etc, and redistribute it back into nature. They are able to grow at the speed of ½ to 2 inches daily.
Due to this, fungi have the ability to quickly respond to natural disasters. For example, strong winds and tornados wreak havoc throughout the land, things were upturned and scattered. The networks that the fungi make would be able to quickly repair the damage done to the soil, search and capture the debris and begin recycling them. The fungi also help maintain pH levels in the soil. This helps to increase the usability of soils. They help restore the pH balance; in cases of natural disasters such as volcano eruptions, where the acidity of the soil renders it unusable. They also help maintain the pH in very common problems such as manure runoffs, acid rain, etc. pH P µg/g K µg/g O.M. % NO 3 -N µg/g NH 4 -N µg/g Commercially Available Potting Soil 5.72.583184.108.40.206 Composted Mushroom Cultivation Waste 7.022454728.228.818.1
T OXINS Mushrooms will help combat another one of the world’s biggest problems – toxic waste. It is discovered that Oyster mushrooms have the astonishing ability to break down heavy oils – petroleum, industrial oils. These fungi are able to absorb the oil, produce enzymes that are able to break C-H bonds. They are able to turn the hydrocarbons in these oils into carbohydrates.
An experiment was done in the United States, where many different groups used different techniques to clean up the oil laden soil. The techniques included different bacteria, chemical agents, and of course, fungi. After 4 weeks, the fungi infested pile managed to destroy more than 95% of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, converted into nontoxic components, and the mushrooms were free from any traces of petroleum.
After 8 weeks, the mushrooms rotted, and attracted flies, small organisms, which attracted insects, which attracted birds. The birds brought with them different seeds, and plants began to grow. Soon enough, the pile became an ‘oasis of life’. Different types of fungi were also soon to effectively eliminate E. coli and break down VX, an extremely toxic and difficult to destroy nerve gas agent.
Like everything else, this new technology will come with more social, moral, political, environmental responsibility. If most toxic waste can effectively be treated this way, then industries could possibly lose the incentive to work towards environmental ‘friendliness’, as there will be an easy solution to the problem. However, just because there is a solution, it does not mean that they have the privilege to continue creating increasing amounts of toxic waste. After all, resources, especially energy resources are scarce. The extracting, processing of them will still leave large impacts on the earth, no matter how easily we will be able to dispose of them.
T IES TO AIM 7 Applying students’ information Communication technology Sent posts on Angel Sent a copy of the same post by e-mail
T IES TO AIM 8 Environmenta l Implications- There is and urgent need to save the world from environment al degradation. In the various ways listed above, mushrooms help make this possible. Economic Implications- Using mushrooms not only helps protect the environment but also results in great economic profits. Today, there rarely is a profit without adverse impact on the environment. Mushrooms help make it possible. Social and Ethical Implications – Mushrooms may help provide a safe, clean, and fast way to save the environment and the world. This new technology will bring new moral, environmental, and economical responsibilities to many different industries, and we must not abuse and misuse these new methods.
T IES TO AIM 10 All of the scientific disciplines are interconnected. We cannot completely understand one without consulting and investigation another. We must apply knowledge and methods from all disciplines to fully understand the things around us. For example, the extent to which fungi are able to decompose heavy oils cannot be fully explained without the application of chemistry. The idea of using fungi on these toxins would not have been thought of, without the experimentation and knowledge of biology.
ADRESSING INTERNATIONALISM Presently numerous environmental issues like deforestation, environmental pollution, desertification, etc, trouble the world. It also suffers from the scarcity of resources, such as food shortages, water shortages, etc. Mushrooms will help with better provision and allocation of these resources. We need something that can tackle the current issues. Mushrooms plays and important role in the environment, and provides a relatively fast solution to the world’s problems. If mushroom practices like mycoforestry, mycofiltration, etc are used on a wide scale, it can play a great role in improving the environmental conditions. However, it is not our only solution.
C ONCLUSION These fungi discoveries made by Paul Stamets and his team are making remarkable breakthroughs in the scientific community. There are numerous species of mushrooms that provide a solution to many of the world’s problems. These include; Mycoforestry, Mycomedicines, Mycopesticides, Mycoremediation, Myconol, Mycofiltration, and much more. As of right now, they offer easy, simple ways to save the Earth. Methods that most people can afford to contribute to. However, fungi are not the only solution we have to the world’s problems, nor will they be able to concur all of them. Along with this technology, advances in other industries should be made and applied. Only together, will we be able to solve the crisises we are facing.
B IBLIOGRAPHY Mycelium Running-How Mushrooms Can Save The World by Paul Staments "Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world." TED, Ideas Worth Spreading. Web. 4 Dec 2009.. Stamets, Paul. "Mycova, Helping the Ecosystem through Mushroom Cultivation." Fungi Perfecti. Fungi Perfecti LLC, Web. 4 Jan 2010..