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Mushrooms

can heal

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

Depending on which kind of tree the wood was, different types of fungi grow on it. 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 is connected to this topic.

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, e.g. for tuberculosis.

Showcases

with food- & and wood-degrading fungi

Project description

Wood-decomposition is displayed in showcases indoor and outdoor. We will especially use fungi of the Alpine area. To improve the visualization we also grow easily cultivable edible- and medical- mushrooms. Panels are set up in the outdoor area next to the wood-decomposing fungi, and showcases are placed with wood in different decomposing stages.

Idea/Organization

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