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TROPICAL FUNGI 3-30-10. The key to forest health. HOW DOES A FUNGUS GROW?. The living body of the fungus is a grayish, stringy mass called a mycelium (= the green plant of a rose bush). The fruiting body of the fungus is the mushroom (= the rose of a rose bush).

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Tropical fungi 3 30 10

TROPICAL FUNGI 3-30-10

The key to forest health.


How does a fungus grow
HOW DOES A FUNGUS GROW?

  • The living body of the fungus is a grayish, stringy mass called a mycelium (= the green plant of a rose bush).

  • The fruiting body of the fungus is the mushroom (= the rose of a rose bush).

  • The mushroom produces spores that result in new fungi.


How does a fungus obtain nutrition
HOW DOES A FUNGUS OBTAIN NUTRITION?

  • Fungi can be saprophytic, meaning that they feed on non-living materials. Their mycelia use chemicals to dissolve and absorb nutrients.

  • Fungi can be parasitic, meaning that they feed on living materials.

    • On plants (smuts, rusts)

    • On animals (Histoplasma in human lungs)

  • Fungi can also be mutualistic, living with other organisms.

    • Lichens


The mycelia of many species of fungi unite with the roots of forest trees. These mutualistic symbiotic mycorrhizal associations provide the fungus with photosynthesized products and the trees with chemically obtained nutrients. The mycelia grow so fast that they capture most of the nutrients.


A nice image of the mycorrhizal association
A nice image of the mycorrhizal association. forest trees. These mutualistic symbiotic



Several mycelia
Several mycelia. phosphorus and potassium.


Fairy Ring (so called because people believe that fairies come out and dance in the circle) – Since the mushrooms (fruiting bodies) use a lot of nutrients, they tend to pop up around the periphery of the growing mycelium. The mycelium is consuming nutrients where it exists.


Bracket Fungi, Belize. Remember, the brackets are the reproductive portion, and the body of the fungus is the mycelium that is in the dead limb.


Shelf fungi cockscomb
Shelf Fungi – Cockscomb. reproductive portion, and the body of the fungus is the mycelium that is in the dead limb.


Bracket fungus in trinidad
Bracket fungus in Trinidad. reproductive portion, and the body of the fungus is the mycelium that is in the dead limb.


Basidiomycete in belize 2006
Basidiomycete in Belize 2006 reproductive portion, and the body of the fungus is the mycelium that is in the dead limb.





Magic mushrooms - aka ‘shrooms – ( Venezuela.Psilocybe sp.) growing on cow poo at Crooked Tree, Belize. Beware the effects of psilocybin


Cute tambopata per
Cute! Tambopata, Per Venezuela.ú.


Tambopata per
Tambopata, Per Venezuela.ú.


There is a whole group of mushrooms called Venezuela.stinkhorns due to their putrid smell. They emit putrescine (a polyamine precursor of spermidine, first found in decaying meat but now known to occur in almost all tissues and in some bacterial cultures; a crystalline, slightly poisonous, colorless, foul-smelling ptomaine [a product of bacterial or protein metabolism] produced by the decarboxylation of ornithine, especially in decaying animal tissue) and cadaverine (a foul-smelling nitrogenous base, pentamethylenediamine, produced by decarboxylation of lysine). It is produced in decaying protein material by the action of bacteria, particularly species of Vibrio.WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Stinkhorns produce putrescine and cadaverine, and both have a horrible odor associated with decaying flesh. Yuk!


What is the selective advantage of emitting putrescine and cadaverine

What is the selective advantage of emitting putrescine and cadaverine?

To attract flies, which are the agent for the distribution of their spores.


Lacey Stinkhorn, cadaverine?Dictophora, Hato El Cedral, Apure, Venezuela. Its putrid smell attracts flies that spread the spores, as do all stinkhorns.


Bridal Veil Stinkhorn cadaverine?, Dictyophora indusiata, Cockscomb. The vail is technically called an indusium (outgrowth).


Stinkhorn belize
Stinkhorn, Belize. cadaverine?


Yet another cadaverine?stickhorn is Clathruscrispus. This one appeared overnight at Chaa Creek during a heavy rain storm in August, 2007. These mushrooms deteriorate quickly, lasting less than one day. Note the flies.


One weird student
One weird student! cadaverine?




Cordyceps one of the unique fungi of the tropics
Cordyceps edges (found in Cockscomb). – ONE OF THE UNIQUE FUNGI OF THE TROPICS.

  • Cordyceps is a tropical fungus that grows in the ground.

  • An invertebrate (tarantula, insect, etc.) brushes against the mushroom and spores stick to its exoskeleton.

  • Spores begin to grow, entering openings in the exoskeleton.

  • As the mycelium grows, the carrier can’t resist the urge to climb up vegetation.

  • At some point, the fungus kills the carrier, which turns white with fungal growth.


More on cordyceps
MORE ON edges (found in Cockscomb).Cordyceps . . .

  • The fungus produces spores.

  • The dead carrier ruptures.

  • The spores blow away in the breeze.

  • This whole system seems to have evolved to help the dispersal of the Cordyceps spores.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Guk-x0BTDTM


Lichens are
LICHENS ARE . . . edges (found in Cockscomb).

  • Lichens are a mutualistic symbiotic association of a fungus and algae or cyanobacteria.

  • The fungus gets food from the photosynthesizing algal cells.

  • The algae get moisture and a place to live from the fungus.

  • Remember: “An alga took a likin’ to a fungus.”


Types of lichens
TYPES OF LICHENS edges (found in Cockscomb).

  • Foliose: leaf-like lichen (curly lobes and margins)


Types of lichens cont
Types of Lichens (cont.) edges (found in Cockscomb).

  • Crustose: crust-like lichen (adhere tightly to the surface; rather coarse to the touch)


Types of lichens cont1
Types of Lichens (cont.) edges (found in Cockscomb).

  • Fruticose: shrub-like lichen; In fact, they belong to the genus Usnea (the scientific name of Spanish moss is Tillandsia usneoides – the last word meaning “like Usnea”).


Gal pagos guide phillipi degel wearing an usnea beard
Gal edges (found in Cockscomb).ápagos guide, Phillipi Degel, wearing an Usnea beard.



Christmas wreath lichen cryptothecia rubrocincta this occurs in the southern u s and in the tropics
Christmas Wreath Lichen, edges (found in Cockscomb).Cryptothecia rubrocincta. This occurs in the southern U.S. and in the tropics.


Fini edges (found in Cockscomb).


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