Fungus Quotes (8 quotes)
Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into wars, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves…. They exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television.
I have always liked horticulturists, people who make their living from orchards and gardens, whose hands are familiar with the feel of the bark, whose eyes are trained to distinguish the different varieties, who have a form memory. Their brains are not forever dealing with vague abstractions; they are satisfied with the romance which the seasons bring with them, and have the patience and fortitude to gamble their lives and fortunes in an industry which requires infinite patience, which raise hopes each spring and too often dashes them to pieces in fall. They are always conscious of sun and wind and rain; must always be alert lest they lose the chance of ploughing at the right moment, pruning at the right time, circumventing the attacks of insects and fungus diseases by quick decision and prompt action. They are manufacturers of a high order, whose business requires not only intelligence of a practical character, but necessitates an instinct for industry which is different from that required by the city dweller always within sight of other people and the sound of their voices. The successful horticulturist spends much time alone among his trees, away from the constant chatter of human beings.
Microbes and fungi change a forest just as surely as a ranging fire, only inconspicuously and more slowly.
Now when you cut a forest, an ancient forest in particular, you are not just removing a lot of big trees and a few birds fluttering around in the canopy. You are drastically imperiling a vast array of species within a few square miles of you. The number of these species may go to tens of thousands. … Many of them are still unknown to science, and science has not yet discovered the key role undoubtedly played in the maintenance of that ecosystem, as in the case of fungi, microorganisms, and many of the insects.
Populations of bacteria live in the spumes of volcanic thermal vents on the ocean floor, multiplying in water above the boiling point. And far beneath Earth’s surface, to a depth of 2 miles (3.2 km) or more, dwell the SLIMES (subsurface lithoautotrophic microbial ecosystems), unique assemblages of bacteria and fungi that occupy pores in the interlocking mineral grains of igneous rock and derive their energy from inorganic chemicals. The SLIMES are independent of the world above, so even if all of it were burned to a cinder, they would carry on and, given enough time, probably evolve new life-forms able to re-enter the world of air and sunlight.
The question, What is cholera? is left unsolved. Concerning this, the fundamental point, all is darkness and confusion, vague theory, and a vain speculation. Is it a fungus, an insect, a miasm, an electrical disturbance, a deficiency of ozone, a morbid offscouring from the intestinal canal? We know nothing; we are at sea, in a whirlpool of conjecture.
The virgin fertility of our soils, and the vast amount of unskilled labor, have been more of a curse than a blessing to agriculture. This exhaustive system for cultivation, the destruction of forests, the rapid and almost constant decomposition of organic matter, together with the problems of nitrification and denitrification, the multitudinous insects and fungus diseases which are ever increasing with marvelous rapidity year by year, make our agricultural problem one requiring more brains than of the North, East or West.
Why then be concerned about the conservation of wildlife when for all practical purposes we would be much better off if humans and their domestic animals and pets were the only living creatures on the face of the earth? There is no obvious and demolishing answer to this rather doubtful logic although in practice the destruction of all wild animals would certainly bring devastating changes to our existence on this planet as we know it today… The trouble is that everything in nature is completely interdependent. Tinker with one part of it and the repercussions ripple out in all directions… Wildlife—and that includes everything from microbes to blue whales and from a fungus to a redwood tree—has been so much part of life on the earth that we are inclined to take its continued existence for granted… Yet the wildlife of the world is disappearing, not because of a malicious and deliberate policy of slaughter and extermination, but simply because of a general and widespread ignorance and neglect.