Plant/Fungal Interactions, from Pathogen to Symbiont: A Tale of Two Kingdoms

All terrestrial plants have to deal with fungi, which are an entire kingdom unto themselves, separate from both plants and animals.  Fungi are among the unseen little things that run the world as we know it (along with insects and mites).  And fungi, like all other living things, are dependent on plants to produce food through photosynthesis.  Neither group would exist as we know them without the other. 

Regina Johnson is a restoration ecologist working throughout western Washington.  Being an Ecologist means knowing a little bit about a lot of things, and how living things interact with each other and the abiotic environment.  Turns out that fungi are a critical component of the biosphere, partnering with plants to provide nutrients, limiting plant populations through disease, and finally breaking down dead plants to create soil for the next generation of plants.  Regina has been an SSMC member for just over a decade, and also a member of the local native plant society for the same period of time, where she is the South Sound Chapter Botanist.  At SSMC she is the Plant Lady, the Polypore Queen, and the Foray Coordinator.