Rights: The University of Waikato Published 14 April 2009 Download

Dr Peter Buchanan, of Landcare Research NZ Ltd, describes the role of fungi as decomposers and in causing disease.


Just as fungi are able to decompose leaves and wood and our own bodies, they also decompose the food that we eat if we have left it around. The other negative side of fungi, is fungi causing disease. And all of the crops that we grow, and the native trees and native vegetation we have, every kind of plant has diseases, just as we as people have diseases. Some of our diseases are fungal diseases. Most plant diseases are fungal diseases, so growers of those plants spend a lot of money every year to control the diseases that affect the yield of the crop that they are growing.

Robert Britt
Shanky Jones
Landcare Research New Zealand Limited
Jim Webb