It is widely accepted that our ecosystems are very complex and that the slightest disruption on even the microscopic level can have disastrous consequences for every living organism dependent on that ecosystem for their livelihood.

As an example, it has been suspected that the Gippsland Lakes, located in the Murray-Darling Basin in Victoria is undergoing changes to its ecosystem on the microscopic level. Eucalyptus leaves, amoung other local flora, find their way into the river and naturally decompose, providing food for insects, birds, fish and other aquatic live. However it is now thought these leaves are breaking down due to fungal growths. The ramifications of this affects the entire food chain. Insects eat the leaves, fish eat the insects, birds and animals eat the fish, and humans consume the animals and fish also. Thus it is a possibility we are invariably ingesting fungal spores.

By analysing the decaying foliage in the river, it is possible to ascertain the nature of this decomposition, and whether there are any dangers to us, or the local ecosystems.