Bracket fungi and nesting birds

Bit of a quick post here, as I have been frightfully busy recently. However, the short nature of this post doesn’t mean it’s a useless one, as you’ll see!

At Hatfield Forest on Sunday, sat this dead horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) that is completely colonised by Ganoderma australe (it probably had a major part in killing the tree, and is now devouring its victim). However, the relationship doesn’t end there, for not only is the fantastic white-rotted wood ideal for many saproxylic insects (Coleoptera and Diptera, notably), but the brackets themselves are evidently good for nesting blackbirds! Certainly, the brackets are durable enough and long-lived enough to give shelter for a good amount of time, and perhaps this is why this blackbird opted to nest here.

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A long-dead horse chestnut amongst some developing bramble.
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Ganoderma australe absolutely everywhere…
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…and down within the inside of one of the buttresses, sits this bird’s nest (probably of a blackbird).
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It has the support from the larger bracket beneath and the shelter of the buttress roots and the brackets above. The bramble surrounding it also provides visual shelter from predators.
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Bracket fungi and nesting birds

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