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“Fungi - The Original Network” by Kim Traverse

  • The Cascade Room, The Mountaineers 7700 Sand Point Way Northeast Seattle, WA, 98115 United States (map)

It is beginning to seem that beyond the individual interactions between different fungi and different plants, there are also interconnections across many levels of taxa with fungi providing the network. This looks like a form of cooperation and probably information processing too. Maybe the World Wide Web has been around longer than we thought! Almost all life on Earth depends ultimately on Plants but there is strong evidence that plants only ‘crawled’ out of the oceans with the help of fungi. Most of what is going on is happening at a scale too small for direct observation by humans and we have normed the small range that we can notice. Differences in scale have profound effects on how everything behaves and our intuition can lead us astray when we consider the microscopic universe that fungi inhabit. Plus, new discoveries are not always merely additive- sometimes they suggest we re-evaluate much of what we were sure of. For instance; the very concept of an individual organism is being assailed by new evidence from genetic sequencing and population ecology. If a tablespoon of soil can contain eight miles of fungi hyphae, what is all that stuff up too?

Kim Traverse has been President of The Puget Sound Mycological Society for the past 3 years. He has been paying attention to and eating wild mushrooms for 45 years but native plants are his first love. Kim is a self-taught naturalist, his grandmother showed him his first wildflowers and birds. Most of his field experience was garnered volunteering for and serving on the boards of the Michigan Nature Association and The Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy which he helped found. He strongly believes that in addition to the specific missions of organizations like PSMS, WNPS, Audubon, and The Mountaineers, their most important role is getting people connected to the natural world.

Doors open at 6:00 PM for the Native Plant Identification Workshop; Program begins at 7:00 PM.

Refreshments, Public Invited, Admission is Free