Here’s a short survey of the techniques good books use to start. It’s by no means an exhaustive list or even a prescriptive one, but it could help those looking for a little inspiration.
"Fungi are essential for converting biomass into compost."
"Myco-heterotrophy is a symbiotic relationship between certain kinds of plants and fungi, in which the plant gets all or part of its food from parasitism upon fungi rather than from photosynthesis."
"It is almost lacking in chlorophyll and therefore is unable to photosynthesise as most plants do; instead it gains sugars and nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi."
The family is largely composed of plants that can tolerate acidic, infertile conditions.
In reading Crichton’s _Jurassic Park_, I noticed an interesting trend in his style that can be traced back to The Andromeda Strain. I call this “the hand-off.”
Like in football, a hand-off is when one person passes another the ball, or in this case, a general object of interest. In Crichton novels, especially in the beginning, characters are often introduced by way of hand-off: one character is the POV and discovers, refers to, or sends something (or someone), and the next chapter is from the POV of a character to whom this object of interest was passed (or is the OOI themselves!).
This keeps the perspective fresh (viewing a Dino from the eyes of a child is not the same as a mathematician) and broad (objects could be transported thousands of miles away; or the author could instigate some dramatic irony by revealing more than one character knows; indeed Crichton often does this — where key players beat around the bush — but obscures their secret plot with careful word choice, for example, they refer to dinosaurs as “species” and hint at accidents but never say their cause).
I’ve noticed the hand-off to be especially effective at moving the plot forward and keeping reader interest: while one character may be stagnating, others are not, and so the focus shifts to where the action is happening.