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Archive for the ‘Fungus Blogs’ Category

This (left) is the way I usually see Coprinellus micaceus. Rounded tops to the caps, sometimes this pale colour, sometimes a much redder colour, but as long as it hasn’t been raining they have micaceus particles over them that are a bit like salt grains which do come off very easily, insects walking over them can drag them out of place; a leaf brushing against them leaves a clear patch of cap. But today is the first time I have seen really young caps in a group which had almost intact veil particles over very young caps (below)….

 

 

 

 

Link  to species notes.

Link to photos of Fungi and Slime molds 2011.

 

 

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Last year a poplar tree had to be felled. It was dying and near to a pathway that meant that it could have fallen across that path and, since people could have been underneath it, it could not be allowed to struggle on. It showed all the signs of fungus damage at the time, but I had not seen any spore producing structures on the tree, maybe they had been beneath the ivy growth. What was revealed by the cross section of the trunk was this…

The colour change in the wood is due to differing amounts of water in the wood. One of the trees defences against fungus damage is to produce a waterproof layer through the wood which attempts to contain the fungus growth, so limit it’s spread. In cross section this looks like a black line. In this photo the black line is more obvious as it marks the difference between the browner wood (wetter) and the lighter wood (dryer). If enough of the wood is blockaded against water the branches and leaves can’t get enough sap up into them to keep the tree alive.

In the vertically split part of the trunk there was a black layer covered by a white layer. This is where the wood split vertically along the line of the defences. I have tried many times to find fungal growth in the layer and it isn’t there, it is composed of what seems to be resinous material that powders whcn scraped.

This photo shows the white layer in the split wood. Just under this is a black layer. It is not sooty, it doesn’t powder onto anything that touches it, it is more like sprayed paint that has dried.

This is the kind of tree reaction that is usually associated with a tree killer like Kretzschmaria deusta, which may not show itself via fruiting bodies for many years. I have found this tree defence triggered by more then just Kretzschmaria. It is evident in a trunk that is now beginning to sprout brackets of Ganoderma. This morning, in the cut logs of this tree, the bark had degraded to the point where honey fungus bootstraps were visible. Maybe this is what triggered the tree defences. Bootstraps vary in shape from round in cross section to this flatter form, but exactly which sort of Honey Fungus can’t be determined until the fruiting bodies emerge.

The bootlaces are black, tough, flexible structures that get their name from looking at times just like old fashioned bootlaces. They are the rizomorphs of Honey Fungus and they can spread underground to infect neighbouring trees. Once infested with honey fungus there is no treatment for the tree.

In Abney dead wood is allowed to stay on the ground and the fungus can feed on this wood. This seems to make the fungus less of a problem then maybe it could be. Living trees do have defences, even if they are not terribly effective they will make the fungus work just that bit harder. Dead wood is easier for the fungus to eat.

Link to Armillaria mellea notes.

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This is an encrusting fungus that grows on barkless wood, in this case on an old ash trunk. It can be greyish when it begins to grow, but it settled down to a rust brown colour. The growth here is thin, maybe because it is young-ish it hasn’t developed the ‘warts’ which it can have. These are rounded bumps on the surface. Here it is quite flat, although minutely rough in texture.

Link to photos of fungi and slimemolds 2011

Link to species notes

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The lower photo is the spores in their asci beside the sterile paraphysis seen under a microscope (died blue).

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This was first found by Russell Miller a while ago and sent for checking by Kew. It was the first time it had been found on a hawthorn tree. It is still growing at the base of the same ancient hawthorn. The upper surface of the brackets are dark brown and ridged with lines of growth.  At the edge the new growth is reddish, as is the minutely pored underside.  The upper brackets have developed patches of this reddish growth on the top of the brackets which is unusual. Maybe this is something to do with the parasitic encrusting (unidentified) growth that appeared on it at the end of last year and is now well into decline. It grows in tiers of linked brackets.

Link to species notes

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2011

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Despite the varying descriptions in the books I think I have pinned this down to the species. It is a litttle orangy/tan cap that dries out to a dull opaque cream. The edge shows radial striations when the cap is wet. The gills are moderately broadly spaced and a paler colour then the hydrated cap. The stem is the gills colour at the top but darkens as it gets to the base, the ring zone having lighter fibrous scales, the base having whitish fibrous growths attach the cap to woody debris in the ground near the surface.

I have found this in mid summer on the lowest fallen wood in wood piles, and now in the middle of winter growing on buried woody matter. The microscopic features do match up to the species in Funga Nordica and it does come out as this in the key, this is the species I am going with.

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Link to species notes.

Link to phtos of fungi and slime molds 2011.

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Happy New Year to everyone. I spent the afternoon of New Year’s Day listening to Russell Miller’s now traditional walk round Abney and he held up a branch with this fungus on it. It had a black, sooty looking coating over the barkless patches. On many of these patches there were toothmarks. Russell explained these were the tooth marks of wood mice who eat the fungus, and even had a photo of the mouse in question.

Under the microscops, for the first time, I found the identifying fungus growth. This is something I have tried many times before and failed at miserably. There have been many occasions that others have pointed this out to me before, but as I haven’t actually prooved it to myself, I left it off the list. My apologies to all those who knew better. It was first seen in the beginning of the 1990’s and is attacking the sycamore trees in Abney, so is an important part of the balance of the envoronment. As such it is worth noting as being present.

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I have come across a small brownish greyish growth on ash, on the wood where the bark has come away. It is irregular and up to 2.5mm high with a series of small fuzzy shapes densely together. I have had a look under the microscope and it looks a bit as if it should be in Hypoxylon, but it doesn’t exactly match any description that I have found so far. Should anyone know what this is I would be ever so grateful.

Link to species notes.

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