This contribution, based on a Special Interest Group session held during IMC9, focuses on physiological based models of filamentous fungal colony growth and interactions. Fungi are known to be an important component of ecosystems, in terms of colony dynamics and interactions within and between trophic levels. We outline some of the essential components necessary to develop a fungal ecology: a mechanistic model of fungal colony growth and interactions, where observed behaviour can be linked to underlying function; a model of how fungi can cooperate at larger scales; and novel techniques for both exploring quantitatively the scales at which fungi operate; and addressing the computational challenges arising from this highly detailed quantification. We also propose a novel application area for fungi which may provide alternate routes for supporting scientific study of colony behaviour. This synthesis offers new potential to explore fungal community dynamics and the impact on ecosystem functioning.
- Fungal growth