Concept

Fungi of Australia

Summary
The Fungi of Australia form an enormous and phenomenally diverse group, a huge range of freshwater, marine and terrestrial habitats with many ecological roles, for example as saprobes, parasites and mutualistic symbionts of algae, animals and plants, and as agents of biodeterioration. Where plants produce, and animals consume, the fungi recycle, and as such they ensure the sustainability of ecosystems. Knowledge about the fungi of Australia is meagre. Little is known about aboriginal cultural traditions involving fungi, or about aboriginal use of fungi apart from a few species such as Blackfellow's bread (Laccocephalum mylittae). Humans who came to Australia over the past couple of centuries brought no strong fungal cultural traditions of their own. Fungi have also been largely overlooked in the scientific exploration of Australia. Since 1788, research on Australian fungi, initially by botanists and later by mycologists, has been spasmodic and intermittent. At governmental level, sc
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