Where do all the faeries live? The future of biodiversity in a rapidly changing world
Nigel Fechner, Lisa Chandler, Donna Davis
Text: Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs
Where do all the faeries live? The future of biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. Abstract: Global biodiversity faces unprecedented challenges in the 21st century and beyond. Anthropogenic agitations now threaten to irreversibly destabilise the natural world. Despite precautionary urgings by the scientific community, the polarised moiety of environment adherents and dissidents prevails. The endurance or extirpation of species relies on both adaptability and intervention. This essay
... s these pressing concerns by focusing on the role of fungi within wider ecosystems. The Kingdom Fungi is one group of sentient biota which understatedly drives ecosystem dynamics and the subsistence of larger organisms, yet whose members remain largely foreign to us. The essay explores the longstanding physical, cultural and historical inter-relationships between humans and fungi and their enduring role in human survival and development. Research indicates that fungi possess qualities which may well serve to ameliorate our errors of judgment and resulting ecological impacts yet paradoxically, the future of fungi could be imperiled by such human impacts. Two future scenarios are proposed and it is argued that if these diminutive organisms are as susceptible to environmental degradation and restructuring as flora and fauna, what prospects for perpetuity do our habitats face? Biographical notes: Nigel Fechner is a Senior Botanist at the Queensland Herbarium, having been employed there since 2000. He specializes in the identification and nomenclature of macrofungi. His particular area of interest is ectomycorrhizal fungi -those that form mutual relationships with plants. Lisa Chandler is Associate Professor in Art and Design at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). She leads USC's Arts Research in the Creative Humanities (ARCH) research cluster and was the foundation director of the USC Gallery. Lisa has curated numerous exhibitions, including the award-winning East Coast Encounter, and has published widely on art and visual culture. Donna Davis is a multi-disciplinary artist who explores the nexus between art and science. She develops artworks that imaginatively capture and create sites of ecological observation in order to provide new ways of 'seeing' in the mind of the viewer. Donna has undertaken art/science residencies with organisations such as the Queensland Herbarium, Brisbane Botanic Gardens. She has exhibited widely in both state and national touring exhibitions, and has works held in both public and private collections.