Saprotrophy hunting

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 12 November 2016 14:41

It's been a funny year for fungi. Nothing was growing on the ground in the woods or on the grassland but the fungi growing out of dead and decaying wood are going bananas (I bet this is out of date now with the rain we've finally had in the last week). It's clear why, we've had a dry summer and autumn and dead and decaying wood holds water for longer than soil does. It got me thinking about what the difference between saproxylic and saprotrophic is. I realised I didn't know other than the former refers to how invertebrates consume the resource of dead and decaying wood and the latter, fungi. A bit of research shows that the difference seems to be in how the nutrients are processed. Internally for invertebrates and externally by the fungi. Anyway. Lots growing in and around trees at the moment including this young Spectacular Rustgill. I tried to turn it into a rare webcap but fortunately Clare Blencowe had a look and passed it on to Nick Aplin. I should of realised as there were some open ones around the corner which were the biggest typical shaped mushrooms we saw all day on my fungi course at Ebernoe but I didn't connect the dots.

Here is Yellow Shield at The Mens a few weeks back. Thanks again to Clare Blencowe and Mike Waterman from WWFRG for clinching the ID.

And here the much larger and commoner Deer Shield also at the Mens. A quarter-pounder of a mushroom.

And from Knepp we have Ganoderma resinaceum. Unusually for a Ganorderma, the cap was slightly squidgy and yielded slightly upon compression .

Back to Ebernoe and my course last week and moving away from the trees. We spotted these Lilac Fibrecaps in the churchyard at Ebernoe. I was surprised to see I'd seen this species before but I had no memory of it, I think it must have been a washed out specimen as this was a right little stunner.

We had a look at the cricket pitch too and added a few waxcaps but very low numbers compared to last year. We did find a ring of these odd 'foamy' mushrooms. Quite like the texture of those shrimp sweets you used to get and not waxcap like at all. Any ideas?

2 Response to "Saprotrophy hunting"

James and Dawn Langiewicz Says:

could it be a Meadow Waxcap (Hygrocybe pratensis var. pratensis)?

Graeme Lyons Says:

Thanks James. Someone else suggested this but the fungi were so dry and quite unlike the texture of waxcaps. I've seen that species on the cricket pitch before regularly and I just can't imagine this is the same thing. Even the tiny ones just opening up were 'foamy'.

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