Source:  Mushrooms!!!!    Tag:  club fungi characteristics

This week I learned a lot about fungi and how important they are to the world. The kingdom fungus is made up of primitive fungi, sac fungi, bread molds, and club fungi. Fungi are earths decomposers and help the earth enormously. There are over70,000 types that have been named and possibly 1.5 million that haven't! All fungi are made up of mycelium which is a thread like structure that grows underground. The mycelium may produce a fruiting body that is and above ground structure (like a mushroom) that is used to release spores to reproduce.
                  If you ever want to go on a mushroom foray, you might want to keep some things in mind. First of all you need to know that mushrooms are usually found below trees or on dead matter and they usually show up after a nice long rain. When you pick a mushroom don’t worry about killing it because what you are picking is just the fruit and the majority of the mushroom is below ground in the mycelium. Also, make sure to dig up the entire mushroom and observe where you found it so you can identify it. When identifying it you want to use a mushroom key and field guide. When using these tools pay attention and make sure all of the characteristics match up, also be aware that the picture in the book may not be the same color as the mushroom you found.
                  When we went out on our foray we found lots of mushrooms. One of the mushrooms we found was brownish red with a tan underside. It seemed to be a shelf fungi and it was attached to a tree with others like it scattered around. We put it in a paper bag and when we got back to the lab, we saw that the spore print was light brown. Spore prints show the color of the spores of the mushroom releases in nature and are important in identifying mushrooms. We then tried to identifying it with a mushroom key but didn’t find out what it was that it was a polypore. From there we looked in a field guide under polypores but couldn’t find it we looked again after realizing that it might not be the same color in the picture and found that it was an “Artist’s Conk.”  From this we learned that when identifying any organism, it is important to take your time and make sure to use as many characteristics as possible!