Many faces of fungi
Fungi play vitally important roles in the natural environment and in our lives. This year, our theme for UK Fungus Day is the many faces of fungi, encapsulating the myriad of ways that fungi contribute to our world.
Their role in natural ecosystems
Fungi in collaboration or conflict with plants, animals and other microorganisms
How fungi benefit humans and other animals as food or in medicine
Their role as inspiration for art, music and writing
Innovation in sustainable construction, clothing and packaging materials
Fungi as the foundations of mythology and folklore
Here are just a few of the many faces of fungi...
Hidden fungi: illuminating fungal dark matter
Fungi are ancient organisms that have been around for a billion years. Despite comprising a diverse group of organisms with unique characteristics and ecological roles, Kingdom Fungi remains largely unexplored and hidden away.
Often overshadowed by the charismatic Plants and Animals, Fungi are estimated to number between 11.7 and 13.2 million species, of which only about 150,000, a tiny fraction, have been formally described. The unexplored majority are known as the fungal ‘dark matter’.