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Foraging fungal mycelia as model experimental fiber networks-
Many relatively simple organisms, such as bacteria, cellular and acellular slime moulds and fungi, can self-organize to form complex developmental networks with a rich variety of structure and behaviour. Many of these systems are intimately associated with nutrient acquisition or distribution, particularly under conditions where resources are limited and distributed patchily in time and/or space. It is postulated that emergent structures are likely to be efficient transport systems and resilient to attack as they have been subject to many cycles of evolutionary selection pressure. In comparison to many other biological networks, such as neural networks, genetic and biochemical pathways or food webs, microbes are also extremely accessible, and provide tractable experimental systems.