Fungi are vital and deliver essential services for a healthy ecosystem. They are in fact the giants in the natural ecosystems.

Anyone with an interest in fungi is welcome to join the Adelaide Fungal Studies Group (AFSG ) and no experience is required. Within the group there is always someone to share their knowledge. The information from fungi forays provides valuable information enabling and furthering the understanding of fungi.

Pam Catcheside started the AFSG in 2001 and Pam and the AFSG have achieved much over the past 20 years.

How to become involved

If interested please contact Anita Xian Convenor of AFSG

Why it is important to raise awareness re-fungi?

  • Without fungi, life as we know it would not exist
  • Fungi are essential in all ecosystems
    • Many are decomposers, breaking down and recycling organic matter
    • Many are mycorrhizal, forming symbiotic relationships with almost all plants. The fungi collect water and nutrients for the plants, the plants provide sugars from photosynthesis
    • Many are endophytes, living within plant cells and conferring benefits to the plants such as ant-drought, anti-saline, insect and pest resistance characters
  • In medicine
    • As antibiotics
    • As statins in the treatment of high cholesterol
    • As anti-cancer agents
  • In bioremediation
    • Cleaning up oil spills
    • Extracting heavy metals from mine dumps
  • In agriculture
    • Their use as biocontrol agents
    • As soil enhancers
  • Many other uses
    • Packaging
    • Manufacture of biodegradable materials e.g. shoe ‘leather’

Fungi are the quiet achievers.  If ‘harnessed’ they can be ‘put to use’ in many ways to improve methods in all of the above.