Features of the growth of mushrooms in the forest
Edible forest mushrooms are a storehouse of useful vitamins and nutrients that completely replace a meat product. For their high nutritional value, they are not in vain called "vegetable" or "forest" meat. They are healthy, tasty, nutritious and, most importantly for mushroom pickers - they grow quickly. Active reproduction and growth of mushrooms, starting from the first spring harvest season and ending with the last, autumn, is due to their unique biological characteristics.
Features of the growth of mushrooms in the forest
An ordinary mushroom that grows in the forest consists of a leg (hemp) and a hat, which together make up the fruit body of the mushroom. The base of the leg connects with the mycelium (mycelium), very reminiscent of a tangled interweaving of thin threads (hyphae).
The mycelium itself is located in a loose upper soil layer, including overripe leaves, dying plant remains, humus and other soil organics. The filamentous stamens form the entire fruiting body of the fungus - from the base of the leg to the cap. It is through them that the organic nutrients obtained from symbiont trees enter the mushroom cap.
This is very important for the reproduction of the fungus, because there are spores in thin plates or tubes on the underside of the cap. After maturation, spores are crumbled from the surface of these formations (plates, tubes) and are carried through the forest by wind, insects or animals.
Once in a warm and humid environment, fungal spores begin to sprout quickly. This forms a new independent mycelium, which lies underground up to 15 cm from the soil surface.
The mushroom picker has many important functions:
- contributes to the maximum consolidation of the entire fungal organism in the soil;
- “Distills” mineral substances obtained from the soil into the cells of the roots of symbiotic trees, and then delivers organic substances formed by photosynthesis by trees into the fruiting bodies of mushrooms;
- fulfills obligations to adapt to environmental changes;
- responsible for the sporulation and preservation of fungal spores.
Mushrooms grow most rapidly in mature perennial mushrooms, which have a large and branched micellar system that is resistant to adverse conditions for growth and development (frost and drought). When the mycelium becomes sufficiently developed, formation begins. Mushroom threads are more intertwined, forming small lumps - future legs and mushroom caps.
Mushroom Growth Affects Humidity
Approximately 3-5 days are required to reach the medium size mushroom. It is such young and strong mushrooms that professional mushroom pickers prefer to collect. But not all fungi grow and develop at the same rate.
How quickly the fungus grows is directly affected:
- the nature of the area where the mycelium grows;
- humidity and temperature of both air and soil;
- a variety of edible mushrooms.
For example, oysters, russula and boletus are most likely to gain fruit mass, so you can go to the forest just a few days after the previous harvest to find the mass of young mushrooms.
From boletus and porcini mushrooms full maturation can wait almost a week. And the chickens are considered the most leisurely in the mushroom kingdom, they grow much slower than other varieties.
In order for future mushrooms to intensively develop in the mycelium and grow rapidly, the mushroom body needs certain conditions.
The low temperature regime has a negative effect on young mycelium, and sudden spring frosts are fatal for developing mushrooms. Cooling with sharp temperature changes can greatly slow down and even completely stop the growth of the fruiting body. Intensive and accelerated ripening of mushrooms begins at a temperature of 18 ℃ to 30 ℃, but only with a sufficient moisture content of at least 60%.
The moisture index should be about 60-70%, both in air and in soil. If the soil is not wet enough, then the fungi stop growing actively, although the development of the fruiting body does not stop completely.
Irina Selyutina (Biologist):
The development of mushrooms is especially active when the soil moisture is 80-85%. However, if the substrate humidity reaches 95-100%, growth and development will begin to be delayed due to the lack of oxygen, which is necessary for fungi, like all living organisms, for their development. So, wetlands contain only traces of free oxygen (O 2 ), and in connection with this state of affairs you can only find species adapted to such adverse conditions - emeryllopsis, some fusariums, etc. The “lethal” combination is especially detrimental to the development of fungi - high humidity and low temperature. Therefore, to collect a good crop in the cold rainy summer is also not realistic, as is the hot, but dry.
Soil acidity (pH) is also very important for fungi - the active acidity of the medium, the value of which shows us the concentration of hydrogen ions (H +) in the medium. The normal life of the fungus and its vital processes, such as, for example, enzyme activity, spore formation, nutrient entry into the cell, synthesis of antibiotics and pigments, depend on it. Most fungi prefer acidic soils, and less alkaline.
The growth of forest mushrooms is also influenced by pests. When infection of the mycelium and fruiting bodies by the larvae of insect parasites, the active vital activity of the fungi deteriorates significantly - the fungus is sick. Outwardly, this may be initially not noticeable. But as they develop, “worms” appear - insect larvae and an apparently healthy mushroom become already unsuitable for collection.
With the onset of optimal conditions for fungal organisms - warm and humid weather in the absence of pests and diseases, the ripening time of fruiting bodies is reduced, and new young mushrooms grow "like yeast."
The process of active growth does not stop either day or night - this is a hallmark of the entire mushroom kingdom and one of the characteristic features of the plant kingdom.
Fruit bodies grow especially vigorously in the warm season, after rain, when the sun begins to warm the soil saturated with moisture. Under these conditions, young mushrooms form to an average size in just a few days, and then within 10 days they gain mass of the fruiting body, which unspeakably delights lovers of "silent hunting".
However, mushrooms are not only the fastest growing forest inhabitants, but also the most short-lived. After the ripening of the fungal spores is complete, the fruiting body goes into the rotting phase of the reproductive parts. The entire fruiting body begins to break down. Mature spores form new mycelium, and the life cycle begins anew.
The porcini mushroom (boletus) is rightfully considered the king of forest edible mushrooms. In terms of nutritional value, it takes 1st place, and only after it come saffron milk mushrooms, mushrooms, brown boletus, boletus, butterflies, thrush and other inhabitants of the mushroom kingdom. His mushroom picker begins to grow in early spring with the onset of stable warm weather. Growth continues until late autumn, and with the onset of autumn frosts it stops until the next warm season.
Ceps grow at a temperature of 18 ° C to 28 ° C, the mycelium can grow at a temperature of 8 ° C. Relative humidity is in the range of 60-70%.
If drought occurs in the places of growth, the growth of porcini mushrooms is greatly slowed down until it is completely stopped, and the spore maturation time is significantly increased. Moreover, with a decrease in air humidity, the fruit body also slows down growth, because it is not protected from moisture evaporation and dries out unlike other varieties of mushrooms.
There are frequent cases when, after heavy warm rains, mushrooms are collected with a hat diameter up to 18 cm and a leg up to 12 cm.
In favorable conditions (rainy and warm weather), mushrooms grow quite quickly - after 4-5 days, the weight of the young mushroom reaches about 180 g. Further, their mass continues to increase. The life of adult mushrooms takes about 2 weeks. When spores mature, fruiting bodies age quickly and fade. Such fruiting bodies are quite suitable for forest inhabitants. The life cycle closes, but life continues its victorious procession.