Psilocybe cubensis


   P. cubensis has commensalism with the cow dung that it lives on. The cow dung provides nutrients for the fungus, but in turn the fungus never really helps the cow dung. The cow dung is mainly for nutrition and structural support.

  P. cubensis does not provide food for other organisms because of its psychoactive effects. Although not intended for eating, this fungus is not toxic and organisms may eat it such as humans who eat these psychedelic mushrooms for the melancholy feeling with hallucinogens.

  This mushroom helps in many ways starting with decomposing dead material. P. cubensis is saprophytic and helps decompose this matter so we are not up to our heads in dung. This fungus also respires carbon dioxide and expires oxygen gas.

  On the food web, fungus is considered as a primary consumer mainly because it is heterotrophic. Many organisms eat fungi for example humans eat fungi almost everyday. Fungi breaks down enzymes and molecules with their exoenzymes and then ingest the nutrients hence being heterotrophic.

Other Related Organisms
Potato Blight
Shiitake Mushroom
Brewer's Yeast

Photo by Jason copyright 2000