Monday, 27th October 2003
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
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been such a dry summer that there are noticably fewer fungi around
this autumn. Fly agaric (left) is, as
usual, the most conspicuous, here growing beneath silver
birches in Stonecliffe Wood, four miles
south west of Wakefield.
The mycelium of fly agaric forms
a symbiotic partnership with the birch, forming a microrhizal sheath
around the roots of the tree.
While the fly agaric may be helping
the birches grow by freeing up nitrogen from the soil, this birch
bracket is recycling the tree itself. This is one of a
group growing on the trunk of a dead silver birch.
the decay process a stage further these bracket fungi are growing
on a birch log that has already fallen to the ground. Like the birch
bracket these fungi are stiff, corky, in texture and have pores
rather than gills on their undersides to release the spores.
small toadstool growing by a bracken frond at the edge of the wood
has gills rather than pores. The projecting boss or small central
mound is known as an umbo. The cap had a greasy
look, the stem was hollow and the fungus had a mushroomy smell.
I photographed these with my
matchbox-sized digital camera.
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