Fairy Rings is a research project which is about mythical creatures and describes and investigates the origin, structure and dynamics of the well-known phenomenon called "Fairy rings". The first section describes clearly what it is, you can also find out in here a section which will offer you a further reading. Third section offers disambiguation to activities which you can join. The section "Aims of the project" are offering short time aims, which springs during the project development. Very important sections about how we can help other Wikimedia´s Foundation wikiprojects follow and what you can learn by participating in here. The last section offers disambiguation on different ways of sharing ideas, pictures - its focused on discussion and brainstorming. Don't be afraid to ask anytime you need, that's why it is a Wikiversity!
Fairy rings are a natural phenomenon caused by fungi. It is formed by sporocarps growing in a ring, ring of necrotic zone (when there is no grass nor other herbal vegetation) or by a ring of dark higher grass (or meadow herbs). It occurs in woods and on meadows (grassland ecosystems) around the world. According to folklore and fairy tales, fairy rings are places where at night fairies are dancing; others describe necrotic rings as places where dragons stopped. Current investigation shows that this phenomenon is caused by a mass of mycelia under rings. These studies are based on PCR methods comparing sporocarp taxa with mycelia mass structure under them. Sometimes they also compare morphotypes (this article not available) to set a species composition of this mycelial mass, which was called "shiro" by Ogawa.
In English literature we can find out a term "fairy ring fungus", which is mostly a term for Scotch bonnet (Marasmius oreades), however it is estimated that fairy rings can be caused by 50-60 Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. It should be state also that ring is just one of the shapes caused by these taxa and there is not a narrow line between natural necrotic/dark green occurrence and fairy ring appearance.
Finally it is important to explain two mistakes connected with this phenomenon. Firstly what is a fairy circle? Fairy circle is another natural phenomenon of unknown origin occurring in grasslands of SW Africa. Fairy circles are not in scope of this project! Another misunderstanding is how fairy rings look like below ground. You can mostly find out diagrams describing that mass of mycelia is growing in a ring from the central point outside and dieing in the centre forming a ring of mycelial mass. This widelly know theory was not elucidated yet by scientific studies. However Gryndler et al. (2004) summarized the current knowledge on the structure of a mycelial mass and this shape is one of the description in scientific papers. Another two examples were that genets formed just islands of shiro under each sporocarp, or bigger dollops in the ring which are not connected to make a hole ring.
- Ogawa, M. 1975. Microbial ecology of mycorrhizal fungus, Tricholoma matsutake Ito et Imai (Sing) in pine forests. I. Fungal colony (´shiro´) of Tricholoma matsutake. Bulletin of the Government Forest Experiment Station 272: 79-121 (in Japanese)
- Gryndler, M. et al. 2004. Mykorhizní symbióza. O soužití hub s kořeny rostlin. Academia. p. 156 ISBN 80-200-1240-0
- w:Fairy rings
- Chunlan, L. et al. 2006. Tricholoma matsutake in a natural Pinus densiflora forest: correspondence between above- and below-ground genets, association with multiple host trees and alteration of existing ectomycorrhizal communities. New Phytologist 171: 825-836.
- Abesha, E., Hoiland, K. 2003. Population genetics and spatio structure of the fairy ring fungus Marasmius oreades in a Norweigian sand dune ecosystem. Mycologia 95(6): 1021-1031.
- Santillano, D. D. 2006. A study of the Tricholoma magnivelare Shiro using a Taxon-Specific Oligonucleotide in the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca, Mexico.
How to contribute?
There are more ways how to contribute to this research project. Follow the points:
they only grow on the grass where cows have been
Aims of the project
The aim of this project is to answer the current questions about fairy rings. They are:
- Which fungi makes fairy rings? - we might collect observations of sporocarps in rings/other shapes
- ...In wich weather the fairy rings grown?
They could be:
- make a shape typology of fairy rings
How we can help to other WikiProjects?
- it would be nice to write a featured article on Wikipedia: w:Fairy rings
- feed by pictures and schemes Wikimedia Commons: commons:Category:Fairy rings
- write fulltexts on Wikibooks: ?
- write a scientific article to a wikipaper: ?
- write different names for the phenomenon in different languages on Wiktionary: wikt:Fairy rings (this definition not available)
What I can learn from this project?
There are several thinks people can learn from this project. It depends how you are participating. In general, you will understood what are fairy rings and how to make a Wikiversity project. Other benefits can be:
Discuss and brainstorm
You can discuss on each page in discussion list or reach:
- Forum - wiki based discussion page