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Mushroom-growing boom could cause biodiversity crisis, warn UK experts

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By illuminem briefings

· 1 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A surge in home mushroom-growing could lead to a biodiversity crisis, UK experts warn
• Non-native fungi grown in gardens or disposed of in compost heaps may alter soil microbiology and become invasive

🔭 The context: The RHS Chelsea flower show shortlisted a mushroom for the first time, sparking interest
• Kew Gardens reported increased inquiries after showcasing mushroom beds, highlighting the potential benefits of native fungi

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Introducing non-native fungi can disrupt local ecosystems, much like invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed and rhododendron, potentially causing significant environmental harm

⏭️ What's next: Experts urge caution when purchasing mushroom grow kits, recommending native species to avoid ecological issues
• Ongoing research at RHS Wisley focuses on the benefits of locally found fungi

💬 One quote: “We should make sure when buying kits for growing that we are purchasing from trusted suppliers.” – Sheila Das, RHS Wisley garden manager

📈 One stat: Global biodiversity is facing a crisis with an accelerated rate of species extinctions; estimates suggest that species are disappearing at 100 to 1,000 times the natural background rate

Click for more news covering the latest on biodiversity

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