|MadSci Network: Microbiology|
>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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