The jelly ear fungus at Ickworth Park, UK

During the Ancient Tree Forum visit to Ickworth Park a few weeks ago, I spotted many examples of Auricularia auricula-judae (jelly ear fungus). This fungus is pretty cool, albeit somewhat common on more heavily-decayed deadwood (both standing and fallen). Below are some of the better examples.

Auricularia auricula-judae 1
A large stem of a field maple (Acer campestre). Looking more closely, we can spot…
Auricularia auricula-judae 2
…the jelly ear fungus! And lots of lichen.
Auricularia auricula-judae 3
In fact, there’s a lot of the sporophores of the jelly ear fungus on this field maple. Interestingly, the sporophores are limited to areas of old branch attachments / bud clusters. Perhaps the different wood fibre arrangement around the area of a branch attachment reduces the rate of delignification, thus providing the mycelium with a habitat for a longer period of time? Only speculation.
Auricularia auricula-judae 4
A few more peek their head out from the wood substrate.
Auricularia auricula-judae 6
Probably my favourite image!
Auricularia auricula-judae 7
Another really good shot.
Auricularia auricula-judae 8
This time, we can spot the fungus upon a branch within the crown of a mature beech (Fagus sylvatica).
Auricularia auricula-judae 9
And now on an elder (Sambucus nigra).
Auricularia auricula-judae 11
Panning-out from the above shot gives us a better idea of context.
Auricularia auricula-judae 12
This last image is not from the park, but instead from a long-dead hedgerow elm that fell in some high winds very recently.
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The jelly ear fungus at Ickworth Park, UK

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