Episode 4 – Fungi

8.30pm, RTÉ One, Monday 4th December 2023

Ep 4 Fungi Tryptich

Fungi are an ancient form of life, existing long before the first amphibians, reptiles or mammals roamed the planet. There are estimated to be well over 1 million species of fungi worldwide – some can be poisonous and destroy trees, others can be very healthy to eat or can help crops absorb nutrients. Despite several mass extinction events, fungi are the one form of life that always survive, and in this episode, Jonathan investigates what ancient fungi can tell us about historical climate events and how studying them might help us predict what will happen in our planet’s future due to climate change.

It may surprise you that mushrooms are Ireland’s most successful horticultural export crop, supplying half of the mushrooms eaten in the UK. Traditionally, mushrooms are grown in a pasteurised substrate with a layer of peat on top, but with the global effort to stop using peats and restore bogs, Kathriona meets the researchers who are racing to find growing alternatives.

And in Curious Chronicles, we join Fergus McAuliffe on a fascinating journey of discovery to reveal the intriguingly named, humungous fungus…

Share this: