Nature connoisseurs do not need to explain what mushrooms look like. Experienced mushroom pickers can immediately distinguish an edible specimen from a poisonous one. However, not every fan of "quiet hunting" knows how mushrooms grow in the forest and how they reproduce. Meanwhile, the process of mushroom growth is unique and amazing in its own way.
How do mushrooms multiply?
A common and familiar to many forest mushrooms consists of a leg and a cap. The leg of this fruiting body is connected to the mycelium, which resembles an interlacing of threads. The mycelium is located in the litter of the soil, which often includes dying plant parts or other organic matter. Mushroom filaments branch freely, and in the mushroom stem and in its cap they fit tightly to each other.
The threads become channels through which nutrients from the soil enter the cap. The lower part of the cap contains plates or tubes that contain spores. These cells are found in the mushroom in huge numbers, their number sometimes reaches tens of millions. As the spores mature, they spill out of the storage facilities, after which they are freely carried through the forest by the wind, animals or insects.
When the spores find themselves in a favorable environment for them, they begin to germinate persistently, forming an independent mycelium, consisting of the finest white filaments. As a rule, the mycelium lies a few centimeters from the soil surface. In order for future mushrooms to actively grow and develop, they need an air flow and a stable positive temperature.
How forest mushrooms grow
Most forest mushrooms have a perennial mycelium, which is adapted to unfavorable environmental conditions, drought and frost. The growth of fungi freezes if there is a lack of moisture in the soil, but the development of the fruiting body does not stop completely. Young mycelium is much less resistant to frost, which has a detrimental effect on developing fungi. A strong and early cold snap can completely stop the growth of the fruiting body.
When the mycelium reaches sufficient development, the direct formation of the future fungus begins. The threads gradually intertwine with each other, at first turn into small lumps, from which the leg and cap are then formed. Young mushrooms reach medium size in 4-5 days. A week later, the process of decay of the reproductive part of these forest inhabitants begins. So mushrooms are rather short-lived inhabitants of the forest.
The growth rate of fungi is directly influenced by moisture, soil and air temperature, the nature of the area where the mycelium is formed. Boletus, boletus and russula are gaining strength most quickly. Porcini mushrooms and aspen mushrooms fully ripen in about a week. But chanterelles grow relatively slowly. In young mushrooms, spores are also formed, which themselves become the source of a new mycelium. The development cycle is repeated - to the delight of mushroom pickers.