Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Day 321 - Fabulous Fungi - Part 1

Fungi at Silton forest at the weekend - I've not identified them yet
Hey everyone today's Day 321 and as it's kind of a mini-milestone (3...2...1!) that I decided that after almost 11 months of almost endless writing I still haven't covered. I have covered many sub-species of them but never the actual type. It's funny how you get so engrossed in the sub-species that you don't focus on the huge brackets (you'll figure it out :-). the sun has been out and its still like summer but I've seen so many of today's subject emerging that they clearly think its Autumn.

Yes, from all of the clues I have given you the ultimate outcome is for me to say that today's post is about Fungi.

I do love these Fungi, they are actually quite clever as well, they aren't just found on the surface...

You'll find more about this in the facts:
    A lovely Bracket Fungi stained with algae
    I think its  Purplespore Bracket
    (Trichaptum abietinium)

  • Yes, when I say they aren't just on the surface, below the ground there is huge expanses of what is called Mycelium.
  • This is the 'vegetative part of the fungus' and is basically a load of thin, underground wire type structures, called hyphae, connecting all of a type of fungi together. Many make up the Mycelium
  • You know when I said that Mycelium is huge. Yeah, well it is. What has been referred to as 'the largest organism in the world has been found'.
  • Yes, a 2,400 acre area of Mycelium was found in Oregon, USA. It's estimated that it was 1,665 football fields large! That's a lot of mushroom.
  • I've said a lot about what Mycelium is, but nothing about what it does. Well it actually 'feeds' the fungi in a few-stage process:
  1. The Hyphae make enzymes and put them onto or into the food which is sunlight. 
  2. These enzymes make the food break down into chemicals or monomers.
  3. Another lovely but unidentified fungi from Silton
  4. These Monomers are absorbed (basically eaten) by the Mycelium.
  • Now, shortly onto the hot topic. Fungi. These come in all shapes and sizes, from Puffballs, to Fly Agarics, from Scarlet Elf Caps to Jelly Ears.
  • Now, most people know this, but I want to stress this. Some mushrooms are edible but a lot aren't so DON'T PICK THEM OUTSIDE!!!! If you want to eat a Mushroom, buy some from the shop.
  • You'll all know not to eat them. Most of them are poisonous to us and everything. Some, even if you touch it, can make you ill. If you eat one, you could DIE. My advice is: don't.
    A Fly Agaric - the Toadstools portrayed in Fairytales
  • I mentioned above about Fly Agarics. These are the Mushrooms portrayed in all fairytales. They are called Toadstools but they aren't. Just a warning, these are also poisonous. (I'm not 100% sure why a little elf would wan to live underneath a poisonous plant but, that's fairytales for you!)
  • Ok, I have been referring to them as plants. But, they're not. since 1969 they were classified as their own group and more recently, DNA tests have 100% proven that they are actually more closely related to animals than plants because of the way that their cells are arranged.
    A nice little fungi found on the bottom of
    tree. A Bracket fungi.

  • Fungi are very useful things to us and in ecosystems, so much so that I may have to do another post on just how useful they are.
Here are a few links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. That second shot is beautiful Zach, the colours are amazing! - Tasha