“Mycelium”, 48×60, Ink on raw canvas
A Mycelium is a root-like structure of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. Mycelia are vital in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for their role in the decomposition of plant material. They contribute to the organic fraction of soil, and their growth releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere (see carbon cycle). They increase the efficiency of water and nutrient absorption of most plants and confers resistance to some plant pathogens. They are vital to agriculture and are important to almost all species of plants, many species co-evolving with the fungi. Mycelium is a primary factor in some plants’ health, nutrient intake, and growth, with mycelium being a major factor to plant fitness.