We are very fortunate to have secured Alison Pouliot to run two very different and distinct fungi workshops for SOLN in Apollo Bay in April this year. Alison is a world renowned author, speaker and presenter on the identification, use and importance of fungi in the landscape. These two workshops will focus on fungi endemic to the Otway and the specifics of each workshop are outlined below. Alison's workshops are very popular and often book out quite quickly so if you are interested...
Fungus Discovery Workshop – Thursday 23 April 2020 (10:00 - 4:00) Apollo Bay Senior Citizens Centre, 4 Whelan Street, Apollo Bay 3233
Fungi capture our attention because of their dramatic forms and colour, yet the fungi of the Otways forest are little known. Only very scant and mostly anecdotal records exist. Fungi are an important part of these ecosystems especially in creating and stabilising soils, nourishing and interconnecting plants, as a food supply for animals, and essentially underpinning their health and resilience.
How do we differentiate one mushroom from another? Come along to this workshop and learn how to find your way around a mushroom. Participants will learn the basic features used to identify fungi using the senses including sight, touch and smell. We will begin with an overview of the major morphogroups such as agarics, boletes and puffballs and then examine some of the more common fungi of the region and their important diagnostic features.
Following an interactive indoor identification session around a specimen table we will then head to the field to find fungi of interest. This includes being able to recognise the particular plants, substrates and habitats with which certain fungi associate.
Participants will be provided with supplementary notes and are encouraged to bring along specimens to identify.
Tea and Coffee facilities provided on the day
Dirt Matters – A journey in the mycobiome – Friday 24 April 2020 (10:00 - 4:00) Apollo Bay Senior Citizens Centre, 4 Whelan Street, Apollo Bay 3233
The need to produce high quality food while minimising environmental damage is one of the biggest challenges for Australian agriculturalists. Healthy biological soils are crucial to plant health including our food crops. In turn, human health depends on high food quality and hence good soil health.
We now know there is a greater biomass of living microorganisms within than above the soil. Modern agriculture with its intensive use of chemicals, fertilisers and mechanical disturbance has largely eliminated these organisms. However, innovative biological farmers are turning things around through 'ecological intensification' – that is, by fostering the microbes within soils with the aim to replace anthropogenic inputs and tilling practices. Central to this is an understanding of how symbioses between plants, fungi and other organisms function.
This workshop provides an overview of the vital significance of fungi in soils and the important roles they play in providing soil architecture, retaining water, increasing nutrient availability and maximising ecosystem resilience. Greater attention to fungal-plant relationships can help us move beyond current expensive and unsustainable farming practices. This is especially pertinent in the context of a changing climate and water scarcity.
The workshop includes an interactive and illustrated seminar on the major fungal groups, the basics of fungus identification, fungal ecology, and the natural and cultural history of fungi. Fungus specimens from the local area will be displayed, discussed and examined during the workshop.
Following the indoor session will be an exciting foray through various local habitat types to search for species of interest. Supplementary notes will also be provided.
Tea and coffee facilities will be provided.
If you would like more background on Alison her website is https://alisonpouliot.com/