A team of molecular biologists from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Puerto Rico in the United States has made a new discovery about the fungal kingdom: These living organisms can regulate their own temperature.. In laboratory tests, scientists realized that fungi and other fungi can stay cooler than the surrounding environment.
The discovery was made by one of the researchers while testing a thermal camera and noticed that the mushrooms growing in the forest were cooler than the surrounding vegetation. He soon assembled a team of scientists to run various tests and better understand the thermal regulation of different fungi.
To carry out the research, the scientists collected different types of mushrooms from nature and analyzed them in the laboratory. By observing the temperature differences, they realized that on average, the mushrooms were 2.9 degrees cooler than the surrounding air – with a margin of error of 1.4°; some samples were recorded as low as 5.9º.
“Unlike animals and plants, fungal temperature and thermoregulation are relatively unknown. Our data suggest that not only fungi but also fungal communities can maintain cooler temperatures than the environment,” the researchers wrote in the study, published in the scientific publication. The journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Fungi and thermal regulation: nature’s autodidacts?
Scientists were able to confirm that fungi have the power to regulate their own temperature by releasing water into the air. A certain amount of this water is retained under the “caps” of the mushrooms and is slowly and evenly released into the air.
As the study explains, fungal colonies are also cooler than the environment and use the process of releasing water into the air to maintain thermal regulation. Other studies show that fungi make up about 2% of Earth’s biomass, so new research shows they are responsible for helping regulate the temperature of certain environments.acts as a kind of ‘cooler’ of nature.
The research also notes that the thermoregulation provided by fungi is important for understanding the role of fungi in helping against climate change. The scientists explain that the temperature of each mushroom depends on its location in nature, so more work is needed to better understand the issue.
“The temperatures of wild mushrooms, as well as fungal and fungal colonies in the environment, vary by genus, suggesting that there may be species-specific differences in their ability to dissipate heat,” the researchers in the study said.
Source: Tec Mundo
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