Mar 3rd, 2017
Ninety percent of all plants on Earth rely on the fungi intertwined in their roots. The plants receive nutrients and water, as well as some other benefits, from these mycorrhizae - but some plants take advantage of the fungi and drain all their energy, giving nothing in return. Among the most beautiful, bountiful, and endangered such plants are the orchids. In this episode, Izzie talks with Dennis Whigham and Melissa McCormick, orchid scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, about how the fungi help the orchids and why orchid conservation is also leading to a lot of new fungal science.