Friday, August 27, 2010

Status update

Heading to the creek this morning to check out a logging tract in the Pea Vine subwatershed. Here is a cool pic to tide you over until I get back....

At first glance this looks like some kind of coral skeleton placed
at the base of a tree - hence the name coral fungus.  Coral Fungi
are an interesting group of saprophytes (living off the dead) from
the division Ascomycota.  Look for them under dense oak-hickory
stands in rich moist soils.  They extract energy from rotting oak roots.
The part of the fungus you see is the reproductive structure of the
organism called an ascus which will release spores as it dries out.  The
best time of the year to find these is early summer after a period of heavy
rains but they do grow throughout the late spring and summer months. 

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