Mycelial Networks Structure and Dynamics

Mark D. Fricker, Dan Bebber and Lynne Boddy

Contents

1.

Introduction

4

2.

Mycelia within Organic Substrata

4

3.

Mycelia Foraging between Relatively Homogeneously Distributed

Resources

5

4.

Mycelia Foraging between Resources Distributed Heterogeneously

in Space and Time

7

4.1 Search and Response Behaviour

7

4.2 Persistent Mycelial Networks: 'Sit and Wait' Strategy

9

5.

Analysis of Network Architecture and Function

11

5.1 Quantifying Network Characteristics

12

5.2 Modelling Transport

13

5.3 Modelling Resilience

14

5.4 Changes in Network Architecture over Time

14

5.5 Future Research Direction

15

Acknowledgements

15

References

15

Abstract To survive saprotrophic fungi must be able to capture organic resources discontinuously dispersed in space and time. Some basidiomycetes can only achieve this by production of sexual and asexual spores or sclerotia — categorized as 'resource-unit-restricted', whereas 'non-resource-unit-restricted' basidiomycetes can also spread between organic resources as mycelium. Mycelial distribution and foraging within organic resources and among relatively homogeneously and heterogeneously distributed resources is reviewed. 'Non-resource-unit-restricted' Basidiomycota have evolved different patterns of mycelial spread appropriate to discovery of resources of different sizes and distributions. They show remarkable patterns of reallocation of biomass and mineral nutrients on discovery and colonization of new resources. Network architecture is a significant factor in the acquisition and distribution of nutrients, and in survival when parts of the network are destroyed. The costs and benefits of different architectures to large mycelial networks are considered.

British Mycological Society Symposia Series © 2008 The British Mycologica! Society

Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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