Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gwelup fungal goodness

Now that it has rained after weeks of cold, dry winter, all the wee mushrooms are poking up their fruiting bodies. So it was opportune weather for a fungal foray at Gwelup bushland on the weekend. This reserve is tucked away in Perth north-west suburbs, and is a piece of remnant tuart woodland which is a but fragment of what was an extensive sweeping continuous community ranging from Yanchep to Busselton.

This Tuart woodland has a canopy in good condition, dominated by tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) and sheoaks (Allocasuarina fraseriana). However, the understory is rather weedy, what with a history of being a stock route during settlement. So there is a fair bit of Gladiolus caryophyllaceus, Hypochaeris radicata, Pelargonium capitatum, Asparagus asparagoides and Avena barabata and Erharta longifolia.

But we were there for the fungi - and the wet, cold conditions provided.

Here is a quick photo inventory of what we found within two hours. There slime moulds on rotten wood. Including the strangely named Icicle fairy fans (Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa) and the unnamable slime mould with vivid yellow sporangia.

With fruiting bodies only milimetres in length, there was a little Stereum sp ? hirsutum growing on rotting wood.

Other tiny treasures included Mycenea sp. (left, next to the ruler), which was growing on rotten tuart log. Another rotten tuart branch yielded this beige-coloured skin fungus (Asterstroma persimile - I think).

Growing on tuart nuts was the aptly named tuart nut fungus (Harknessia uromycoides).

 And this Crepidotus eucalyptorum on tuart bark.

Clark's mycena (Mycena clarkeana) on melaleuca wood...

 .......and the vividly warm golden tuart cortinarius (Cortinarus ochraceofulvus) which ia mychorrizal on tuart roots.

And last little critter which caught out attention but wasn't at all fungal, was this cute native Bothriembryon sp., and it wouldn't surprise me if it was an endemic species of tuart woodlands on the Swan Coastal Plain.