These are a set of questions mostly aimed at Peter McCoy but any feedback would be helpful, I hope!
First are there any known salt loving mushrooms, mushrooms that grow in maritime environments for folk that are struggling to grow food near the seaside just seems like an understudied aspect of mycology. Considering what mushrooms can do for other gardens, I imagine they could really boost plant growth in such harsh environments...if they were resilient enough to survive themselves.
Secondly I've heard of some studies done using fungi to break down such nasty things as Styrofoam having some success, but has there been any promising research into using fungi to break down plastics in general? Any suggestions on species that one could potentially 'train' to break down plastics into less harmful or non-harmful component parts?
Ultimately either of the above questions getting solid answers (and lots of experimentation and propagation behind those answers) could make some potentially amazing things happen, more food-producing land, and way to break down persistent pollution sources respectively, but what I'm really after is combining the two. While my initial idea of a Glorious Myco-Armada to Save the Sea(!) is a bit naïve, now that I've at least studied a bit more about the problems the world Ocean faces with all of the plastic polluting it, I'm still of a mind to try and partner with fungi in a way to filter out and break down said plastics. Sure, there aren't literal islands of plastic to launch the 'Myco-Armada' into via major ocean currents, but floating islands with some form of filtering matrix of fungi beneath the surface anchored off shore of major river outlets might be doable. Yes anchoring artificial islands off shore is going to run into all kinds of human-based problems, but those can be dealt with when/if there are a battery of fungi developed/discovered that can do the work.
There, I've gone ahead and thrown my crazy out there for all to see...have at it.