Fungal hyphae, found in the earth’s crust create good soil structure, stable carbon sequestration, water retention and nutrient availability for other species.
The presence of fungi is vitally important for the decomposition of organic matter. Fungi cycle nutrients and provide food for many animals, invertebrates and other microbes, fungi also assist plants in fighting disease, attaining nutrients and moisture for plant life.
Fungi evolved on the planet around 1.5 million years ago and are not classified as either plant or animal, they occur throughout the planet in desserts, rainforests, rivers, oceans and even the north and south poles.
In Australia it is estimated we have more then 15,000 species of fungi, half of which are visible as mushrooms we can identify with, these are called macro fungi. Very little is known about the micro fungi in Australia but it’s probably in the hundreds of thousands. With the incredible diversity of the Australian landscape, one would expect the same diversity of macro and micro fungi.
A little-known fact about fungi is the reliance on it as a food source for around 40 animals, it can make up a major part of their diet, particularly after fire. Fungi is attached to every terrestrial ecosystem in the world and kick starts the process of recovery.
Mycorrhiza fungi commonly found in Australia produces plant hormones, alleviating environmental stress, tolerance to heavy metals and salt, and protect plants from harmful pathogens. As many as 90% of native plants benefit from some form of symbiotic relationship with the myriad of fungi and bacteria found in our soils.
Australian aboriginal people probably have the oldest knowledge of fungi dating back to 60,000 years ago. They would have observed invertebrates and mammals that feeding on fungi in different seasons, plant relationships that occurred and watched how dead trees were recycled into rich soil.
It is vitally important that we use fertilisers that do not harm soil microflora and encourage the proliferation of soil microbial life. Grow Safe® products not only address the mineral deficiencies found in our soils but also works in partnership with microflora and fauna through beneficial inoculation.
In short, we need to look after our soil, we should use products that don’t harm the delicate ecosystem that relies on fungi so heavily.