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Mushrooms often pop up in yards or in parks right after a rain. But they don’t last long, so it’s important they spread their spores quickly. This is where poisons and toxins can come in.

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Hughes

Karen Hughes, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, addressed the question “Why are some mushrooms poisonous and some not?” for The Conversation.

Some mushrooms are poisonous for the same reason some plants are poisonous—to protect themselves from being eaten so they can reproduce. Other mushrooms use the opposite strategy. They need animals to eat them in order to spread spores through poop. Still other mushrooms have completely different game plans. Read the full article on The Conversation.

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CONTACT:

Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375, lowen8@utk.edu)