Thursday, 2 January 2014

Spores in the Wind

 Thanks to Fungimapper Ian Bell for alerting us to some interesting research that has recently come out of UCLA.

In November, at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics in Pittsburgh, researchers Marcus Roper and colleague Emilie Dressaire presented their findings on how mushroom-producing fungi  actively and intentionally spread their spores by creating small pockets of air flow that can carry their spores away from the mushroom up to an extra 10 centimeters horizontally and vertically.

The mushroom accomplishes this by failing to protect its moisture content, allowing it to evaporate off. This evaporation causes a small, local cooling effect on the air which enables it to expand outwards, carrying the spores with it.

To read more about this interesting research:
And cup fungi setting off a chain reaction to produce a jet:
Fungal air jets (Image: M. Roper/University of California, Berkley)

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