I first got on board with Paul Stamets’ research at a presentation he gave in 2011. His success with using mycelium (mushrooms) in both soil and water to clean oil spills was remarkable. He identified species of fungi that helped plants survive drought and hot temperatures. This 2016 ASLA blog post reinvigorated me with the hope that this research would become more widespread. The author points out continuing academic research on the application of mycorestoration on small-scale sites.
With the hope of building on Stamets’ research and expanding its application in new designs, here are a few mushrooms covered in the article and linked research papers: Stropharia, which is resilient to repeated wet/dry and heat/freeze cycles, is useful for stormwater management applications and eliminating E. coli. False truffles (Rhizopogon spp.) reduce drought stress on plants, and pearl oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) remove heavy metals and break down hydrocarbons. Pestalotiopsis microspora degrades plastic, while turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) is great for mercury contamination.
Overall, I’m disappointed this research isn’t being used in everything. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clear guide to apply it anywhere – including the article. For a more in-depth read on the subject, check out Katie Nikota’s thesis, Mycology Applications for Landscape Architecture.