Let’s explore a lesser-known subject within the discipline of invasion ecology.
When fungi are mentioned in the context of invasion ecology, we usually read about the effects of invasive plants and animals on native fungi.
But what about fungi as invaders? Are there such things as invasive mushrooms?
According to most ecologists, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Fungi certainly have the ability to leave their native dwellings and establish themselves in new ecosystems… oftentimes, and not surprisingly, with the help of humans.
One such fungus with the perceived ability to travel the world is the Asian Beauty (Radulomyces copelandii, formerly Radulodon copelandii). Native to Asia, this fungus was first documented in North America only 10 years ago.
Could this fungus be an invasive species? Or have we simply been overlooking its presence on the North American continent for centuries?
That’s the topic of the following video, so if you’re interested in learning more about the wayfaring fungus known as the Asian Beauty — and about the broader topic of invasive mushrooms — check it out!