Thursday, 10 June 2010

More on Fly Agarics

In addition to the agarics I found close to home a friend mentioned that while on a run he had found huge numbers of them (and other fungi) in the Cork oak plantation in Canberra.  We arranged to meet near there for a follow up visit.  Let us start with an artistic shot.
There were indeed very large numbers of the fungi around.  The following shots show a linear colony (if that is an acceptable term in mycology) and a cluster.  Note the ground being almost totally covered with fallen cork-oak leaves.
As far as I could determine the disturbed ground around the lower cluster were due to the untidy table manners of White-winged Choughs that were browsing nearby.

I included this image as the white spore print is clearly visible where spores from the tallest fungus have fallen on the one below.

The next two images show the fungus and some of the leaves of oak regrowth.
My friend challenged me to estimate the number of agarics present in the area.  Measuring the length and breadth of the plantation on Google Earth I came up with an area of just over 8 hectares.  In the field there appeared to be about 3m between rows of trees and I decided to do some transects counting the number of fruiting bodies in each avenue (and the number of steps taken for each transect).  I was able (from the breath of the plantation on Google Earth) to estimate the length of my double step as about 1.8m.  Doing 5 transects my study area amounted to 2700 sq m and I counted 318 fruiting bodies.  Simple arithmetic came up with the astounding number of 9,500 fruiting bodies.  The number of bodies per square metre varied considerably between transects but even dividing the number by two still gives close to 5,000!

There were many many other fungi present.  I was hoping to see a Death Cap (which I have been told have been seen here in the past) but they did not appear.  This (which I cannot identify) was the commonest:

There were a few Boletes:
.....  and a few bracket fungi dealing with fallen cork oak branches.
I did identify some Omphalima chromacea (a Fungimap Target Species, which I have included in other pages) and Stereum hirsutum (also a Target Species.

1 comment:

hunter said...

Hello Martin,

What a fabulous place to go fungi hunting, thank you.

I've never seen Amanita muscaria in numbers anything like you've illustrated. Also, I've never seen such a great example of Stereum hirsutum - that's a real beauty.