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Plant, er, Fungus, of the Week! Morel Mushrooms

Plant…er, Fungus, of the Week! Morel mushrooms are not a single species but are made up of many species in the Morchella genus. The part of the mushroom that is seen, and sought after, is the fruiting body of the organism. Underground, the hyphae have a fascinating life of their own. Some species are saprotrophic, meaning they gain nutrients from dead organic matter, and other species have symbiotic relationships with a particular tree or grass species. These species grow among, or even into, plant roots, exchanging water and minerals for carbohydrates from the plant. Some species live both ways, shifting from one method of nutrient acquisition to another depending on the stage of their life cycle. To learn more about Morel ecology and conservation, check out this short article by the National Park Service: https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/DownloadFile/603861

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