More human than plant, are mushrooms cognizant?
Why are mushrooms and fungi important?
Interesting that you ask this. I just read recently an article that suggests they might have discovered a way to prevent the bee population decline problem. It has to do with mushrooms and fungi.
Bee populations have been on the decline but researchers couldn't figure out why. Many assumed global warming was in some way related but recent discovery through lab testing revealed bees were lacking a natural defense against mites which they normally gain through exposure to certain fungi and mushrooms that grow on damaged or rotted trees/logs.
Clear cutting forests and slash burning has been removing these rotting trees and logs where the fungi grow. Bees take advantage of rotting logs to build their hives exposing themselves to the fungi that kills the mites that attack the bees.
Researchers took hives of infected bee populations and subjected them to these fungi by offering them to move their hives into rotting logs. Over the range of the experiment with several separate hive tests to that of controlled hives without exposure, saw not only an increase in their population but produced more productive bees once exposed to the fungi.
In the article it said a normal bee pollen collection phase is nine days for the average bee. But infected mite hives cause the bee pollen collection phase to drop to four days on average. Over 50% drop in productivity. This means less pollination of flowers on a large scale.
This is just one example of the importance of mushrooms.