As promised, I am sharing some of the other fungal finds from my walk in a nearby woodland last weekend. I’ll admit this is probably one of the more interesting trees, principally because it tells us a story about what this goat willow has gone through. Because of the location and morphology of the brackets, we can ascertain, to a good degree, exactly why what happened happened, and I’ll let the pictures and associated captions do the talking here.
Oh dear! We can see how, because of a selective white rot induced by Ganoderma applanatum, the stem of this goat willow has buckled under compressive forces and collapsed.
We know that a Ganoderma species (the flesh was a light coffee-coloured brown, so it suggests it was G. applanatum) has caused the failure, as we can see brackets upon the floor here…
…and they have fallen from their original point just below the site of failure, because of the remaining fragments of sporophore upon the stem.
A little further up the stem, one Ganoderma applanatum sporophore was obviously just beginning to form when the tree was still standing, though upon falling the site conditions changed and, as a geotropic response, the bracket grew at the new angle parallel to the ground. At least, that is what I strongly suspect, given this is fruiting on the underside of the fallen stem.
Further up still, we have a large swathe of Daedaleopsis confragosa brackets. These evidently were produced following the tree’s collapse, and I hazard a guess this entered after failure and is acting as a saprophyte. Curiously, the mycelium of this fungus will be competing with mycelial networks of the Ganoderma applanatum for resources.
As seen in the last image, these sporophores were present all up the remainder of the stem. Here is another image, and with these ones we can note they are indeed blushing. Hence the common name ‘blushing bracket’.
On the other side of the stem, we have yet more sporophores of the blushing bracket. Glorious!