Recently we’ve been posting a lot about fungi, particularly fungi that are able to cause disease. However, it’s important to remember that fungi are an extremely diverse group of organisms. Some fungi may cause disease and have a negative interaction with their host while some may be beneficial by making nutrients more accessible (mycorhizza symbionts, for example) to their plant host. Other fungi simply aid in decomposition– a process that is extremely important in all ecosystems.
On a short walk through some coppice, I found several specimens of fungi that are decomposers or saprobes. These fungi are important for the decomposition of hard to digest components of plants like cellulose and lignin. Below are some photos of the few saprobic fungi I found in the coppice forest.