Daedalea quercina upon a large oak log

Farmers may likely resort to placing large pieces of timber at the boundary of their land, in an attempt to stop vehicles driving onto their property and using it for either a temporary home (as travellers may do), or otherwise. Not only is such a tactic incredibly effective at halting vehicular trespass, but also more ecologically beneficial than constructing, for instance, a man-made fence.

On this oak log, we can see that Daedalea quercina (oak mazegill) has colonised and subsequently produced a sporophore. I first noticed this earlier in the year during an ‘inactive’ phase, though recently it has sprung into life again. I therefore took the opportunity to take some photos and a small sample, of which the results are below.

The oak mazegill, according to Mattheck et al. (2015), can be both parasitic and saprophytic, though I have only ever seen it act saprophytically. It induces a brown rot of the heartwood by preferentially degrading the cellulose, and is principally found on oak (though sweet chestnut may also be a host).

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A view of the entire bracket, which measures around 30cm in width, upon the end of an oak log.
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A closer inspection reveals the wonderful texture of the bracket.
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Here we can see where this fungus gets its common name.
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A small sample taken from the bracket reveals the inner workings of the bracket, and also shows how much new growth has been laid down in this growing period (note the sudden transition between dark brown and beige).
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Cutting the sample in half and folding it out produces a very lovely symmetrical image, if nothing else!
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Daedalea quercina upon a large oak log

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