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Mushrooms

can heal

Trees become big and strong by using sunlight to make wood. So that the world does not get completely full of trees, they die too. The wood is eaten by bacteria and fungi, which is quite difficult because wood is very strong. Some mushrooms that grow on wood can be eaten or used as medicine.

Depending on which kind of tree the wood was, different types of mushrooms grow. We can only see the fungal fruiting body (we know it as ‚mushroom‘) of the fungus. These mushrooms can look like an umbrella but also completely different.

In our MikrobAlpina zoo it is well observable, how the wood is getting weaker due to bacteria and fungi. We will also explain what Ötzi has to do with it.

Laricifomes officinalis, ein holzabbauender Pilz, der schon bei den alten Griechen als Heilmittel, beispielsweise gegen Tuberkulose, genutzt wurde. Copyright U. Peintner
Picture: Laricifomes officinalis, a wood-degrading fungus, which was already used by the ancient Greeks as medicine, for example against tuberculosis.

Showcases

with food- & and wood-degrading fungi

Project description

Wood decomposition is displayed in showcases indoor and outdoor. We will use especially mushrooms of the alpine area. To improve the look and content, easily cultivable food and medicinal mushrooms are also on display. In the outdoor area, panels are set up next to the wood-decomposing fungi, and showcases are placed with wood in an increasingly decomposed state.

Idea/Organization

MRCA (Stüttler), Institute of Microbiology (Peintner), Alpbach Tutorial (Mihevc)