What can fungi do for us?

Amazing Things

Fungi can do great things for us.  One of the most important things that some fungi can do is to break down wood.  Without them we would have lots of waste wood around, and there wouldn't be enough goodness in the soil for plants to grow.

Some fungi help trees and other plants to grow by capturing water and nutrients for them, in return the trees and other plants give the fungi sugars that they make during photosynthesis

Some fungi make medicines such as penicillin whilst others make foods such as marmite, cheese, bread and beer.

Some fungi can cause diseases while others provide food for animals in the ecosystem.

What fungi do for us

Image of mycelium © L.Boddy

We are always getting munched

Here are some fungal products

Photo by ama

Fungi are used to make bread, cheese, wine, beer, soy sauce and marmite. Quorn is a fungus used instead of meat to make vegetarian dishes.

Fungi help to make coffee and to put the flavour in chocolate!  They even help to put the bubbles in lemonade!

Rootgrow is a type of fungus that helps plants to grow.

Here you can see Oyster mushrooms growing on a straw bale. This is how they are grown before they are packaged and sold to supermarkets. Below is a close up of the Oyster mushroom fruit body. Can you see the gills?

Photos by ama


Some fungus fruit bodies are food for other living things including deer, squirrels, slugs and snails!

Photo by ama

This hungry slug is enjoying a mushroom supper!