Can Mushrooms Help Fight Stormwater Pollution?

I know many of you love wild mushrooms. Here’s another good reason to love them.

Ah, the Garden Giant. He’s a jolly fellow who roams around your garden at night tossing mulch as he merrily skips along, helping your veggies grow lush and tall. Not quite. The Garden Giant is actually a species of mushroom, scientifically known as Stropharia rugosoannulata, that may hold a key to filtering harmful pollutants from stormwater runoff. Although this mushroom can be rather “giant” as the name implies, growing up to eight inches tall and a foot wide at its cap, it is not the mushroom itself that does the work. It is something hidden underground — a fungal root-like material called mycelium. Mycelium is a microscopic, cobwebby, fungal thread that, when mixed with woody debris, decomposes bacteria.

Sarah Strunin reports.

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