Mushroom hunting with a professional lecture

We will collect mushrooms with schoolchildren in the nearby forest. Mushrooms will be exhibit in the premises of the primary school and then give an expert lecture on the found species of mushrooms.

The importance of fungi in preserving the environment

It is estimated that there are about 5 million different species of fungi in the world. However, only about 140,000 species have been discovered and described. About 5,000 of the planned 15,000 species have been discovered in Slovenia. Fungi live all over the world. They thrive in a humid environment, at a temperature of 15 to 30 degrees Celsius. Some thrive in extreme conditions. They have also been discovered in salt pans and in the Arctic.

Fungi are multicellular and form an interweaving of hyphae called subungual or mycelium beneath the surface. On the mycelium, fruiting bodies or spores develop above the surface, which is often called mushrooms. Spores or spores develop on the spores, with which the fungi reproduce.

Fungi are heterotrophic organisms, which means that they need a variety of organic food to live. Depending on the diet, they live saprophytic (rot), parasitic and symbiotic (coexistence with plants). Most species of higher fungi (e.g., fungi, flies, chanterelles, or doves) live mycorrhizally, in coexistence with trees. Without coexistence, trees would grow much more slowly, they would also be smaller. The plant and the fungus are connected in an interweaving of hyphae and roots. The plant draws water with minerals from the hyphae of the fungus. Due to the large area, it has a greater chance of access to water and the plant can survive even in dry periods. At the same time, the fungus draws from the roots nutrients, carbohydrates produced by the plant through photosynthesis. The interweaving of hyphae also protects plants from bacteria and prevents soil erosion. This form of symbiosis has been developed by most plants. Mycorrhiza is also exploited by humans, as cultivated plants that grow faster in symbiosis with the fungus do not need to be watered and fertilized as much.

Fungi are an important factor in the environment as they participate in the circulation of matter in nature as they decompose organic matter. Fungi therefore play the role of consumers and decomposers in the ecosystem. They also break down the substances that make up wood, namely cellulose and lignin.

Fungi are also very important in human life. Some are important as food, some are used in the preparation of food and beverages, and others are important for the production of medicines – antibiotics.

Fungi include not only mushrooms, but also various types of fungi found in moldy cheeses. For pharmacists and medicine, for example, the brush mold from which the antibiotic penicillin was isolated is important. In the food industry such as baking and the production of alcoholic beverages, yeast fungi are indispensable, which break down sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide in the process of alcoholic fermentation.



Pomen gliv za ohranjanje okolja

Ocenjeno je, da naj bi na svetu živelo okoli 5 milijonov različnih vrst gliv. Odkritih in opisanih pa je le okoli 140000 vrst. V Sloveniji je odkritih okoli 5000 od predvidenih 15000 vrst. Glive živijo povsod po svetu. Uspevajo v vlažnem okolju, pri temperaturi od 15 do 30 stopinj Celzija. Nekatere uspevajo v ekstremnih razmerah. Odkrili so jih tudi v solinah in na Arktiki.

Glive so mnogocelične in pod površjem tvorijo preplet hif, imenovan podgobje ali micelij. Na miceliju se nad površjem razvijejo plodišča ali trosnjaki, čemur velikokrat rečemo kar gobe. Na trosnjakih se razvijejo trosi ali spore, s katerimi se glive razmnožujejo.

Glive so heterotrofni organizmi, kar pomeni, da za življenje potrebujejo različno organsko hrano. Glede na način prehranjevanja živijo saprofitsko (gniloživke), parazitsko in simbiontsko (sožitje z rastlinami). Najbolj številne vrste višjih gliv (npr. gobani, mušnice, lisičke ali golobice) živijo mikorizno, v sožitju z drevesi. Brez sožitja bi drevesa rasla veliko počasneje, bila bi tudi manjša. Rastlina in gliva sta povezani v prepletu hif in korenin. Rastlina črpa vodo z mineralnimi snovmi iz hif glive. Zaradi velike površine ima le-ta večjo možnost priti do vode in rastlina lahko preživi tudi v sušnih obdobjih. Hkrati pa gliva črpa iz korenin hranilne snovi, ogljikove hidrate, ki jih rastlina izdelajo s fotosintezo. Preplet hif prav tako varuje rastline pred bakterijami in preprečuje erozijo tal. Takšno obliko simbioze je razvilo večina rastlin. Mikorizo izkoriščamo tudi ljudje, saj gojene rastline, ki so v simbiozi z glivo hitreje rastejo, ni jih potrebno toliko zalivati in gnojiti.

Glive predstavljajo pomemben dejavnik v okolju, saj sodelujejo pri kroženju snovi v naravi, ko razkrajajo organsko snov. Glive imajo v ekosistemu zato vlogo potrošnikov in razkrojevalcev. Razgrajajo tudi snovi, ki gradita les, to sta celuloza in lignin.

Velik pomen imajo glive tudi v življenju človeka. Nekatere so pomembne kot prehrana, nekatere uporabljamo pri pripravi hrane in pijač, druge pa so pomembne za proizvodnjo zdravil – antibiotikov.

Med glive ne sodijo samo gobe, ampak tudi različne vrst gliv, ki jih najdemo v plesnivih sirih. Za farmacevte in medicino je pomembna denimo čopičasta plesen, iz katere so izolirali antibiotik penicilin. V prehrambni industriji kot sta pekarstvo in proizvodnja alkoholnih pijač pa so nepogrešljive glive kvasovke, ki v procesu alkoholnega vrenja razgradijo sladkor v alkohol in ogljikov dioksid.

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