Paulo Freire Freedom School: Fungus are among us

What are fungi? Where are they? Are they only mushrooms?

Walking through the forest up on Mt. Lemmon you notice lots of litter. You also notice lots of mushrooms in the area. On a hike today, our group saw a tree on the ground and it was covered in mushrooms and lichen. We noticed that the organisms come in an array of colors including orange, green, yellow, and brown. We also noticed there were more on the bottom side where the log was moist. Observing the organisms, we came to the agreement that mushrooms are fungi and lichen have a fungus within it. Fungi are decomposers that recycle nutrients and live in every environment all around us. We predicted that it would take about 20 years for the fungi to breakdown the log and recycle those nutrients back into the soil for another tree to use one day.