Lee Davies, Collections Manager, gave an informative and lively talk on Zoom to 23 members.
The collection has 1.3 million specimens from all over the word with nearly 4,000 being added each year, sent in by the British Mycology Society and from expeditions. Dry condition of 43% humidity and cool conditions of 18°C are needed for storage.
Fungi are a kingdom of their own and are essential for the survival of plants. Their mycelia (thread-like roots) are linked to trees to provide nutrients and known as the ‘wood-wide-web’. They have been and are used in many ways: food, medicines and vaccines, biofuel, plastics, vitamins, agriculture, washing powder, paper manufacture, beverages, leather and cotton processes. In the future they will be used for: replacement for styrofoam, combining with waste cardboard to make insulation boards, eating plastic, manufacture of imitation leather, and tackling chemical and oil spills.