MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: Why is mold important to nature?

Date: Tue Mar 10 11:36:12 1998
Posted By: Jack Paxton, Faculty Crop Science Emeritus, University of Illinois
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 889146327.Mi

>Why is mold important to nature?

Mold is a term applied to fungi [often Penicillium and Aspergillus species
that are individually very small, but collectivelly form visible "fuzz" on
rotting things]. Individual fungal structures are so small most can only be
seen with a microscope. Mushrooms and bracket fungi however make big
structures you can see easily.

These fungi, which include many other genera than the ones named above,
recycle materials of all types of plants and animals, including wood,
leaves, fruit, insects, and leather. This is a very important process as it
releases nutrients tied up in these materials so that other living
organisms can use these nutrients and this recycling removes debris of dead
plants and animals.

Dr. Jack Paxton,  Professor Emeritus Univ. of Illinois

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