Paul Stamets, the visionary mycologist, or mushroom biologist, recently appeared again at the national Bioneers conference. I’ve been following Stamets’s work for some time, and so I eagerly watched his presentation—and then watched it again. The deep wisdom of fungi might just help save life on Earth as we know it.
For those of us not so intimate with fungi, the ones known as mycorrhizal fungi exist underground as a fine network of filaments running through the soil. They may live for tens or hundreds of years digesting oxygen and filtering water and creating conditions ripe for other life before they appear as an above-ground mushroom.
Through this latticework of filaments, nuclei are constantly flowing. Here is a still from a microscopic film (made by Dr. Patrick Hickey of Edinburgh) that traces the movements of nuclei along the filaments: