Field of Science

Electric mushrooms

Fungi illuminated; this is one great photo essay of mushrooms. While TPP admires these photos he's quite envious about those little LED lights. Several years ago, one of my students had a nifty idea about using tiny lights to illuminate white flowers that appeared to have other adaptations for hawkmoth pollination. A lot of these flowers open in the early evening, and she wondered if flowers that were more conspicuous by illumination if they would get more visits and set more fruit. However the lights proved a technical problem in terms of the wet tropics, an environment that doesn't get along well with electricity. At any rate now the LED revolution gives us another chance to try this field experiment. Maybe this time the flowers will cooperate.

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