The science goes like this: fine filaments of cells called mycelium, the fruit of which are mushrooms, already cover large areas of land around the world. As the mycelium grows, it breaks down plant and animal debris, recycling carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that the enzymes and acids that mycelium produces to decompose this debris are superb at breaking apart hydrocarbons--the base structure common to many pollutants. So, for instance, when diesel oil–contaminated soil is inoculated with strains of oyster mycelia, the soil loses its toxicity in just eight weeks.
The science is both simple and brilliant, and in Mycelium Running, Stamets discusses the various branches of this exciting new technology, including mycorestoration (biotransforming stripped land), mycofiltration (creating habitat buffers), myco-remediation (healing chemically harmed environments), and mycoforestry (creating truly sustainable forests).
Also featuring instruction in the fine art of mushroom cultivation and tips for choosing the appropriate species of fungi for various purposes, Mycelium Running is the consummate guide to this newest trend in environmental science.