Some Fungi of The Bahamas

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.

cup mushroom

This fungus is commonly known as a cup fungus. Interestingly, it is apart of the Ascomycetes, whereas most other mushroom fungi are apart of the Basidiomycetes. Most cup fungi are decomposers, but, some research has shown that they are also mychorrizal fungi.

conk mushroom

This fungus is commonly referred to as a type of Conk. It is a polypore, meaning that it is associated with the decomposition of wood. Polypores feast on dead wood, and are also able to cause wood rot in living trees.

bird's nest fungi

These fungi are commonly referred to as Bird’s Nests. The tiny silver “eggs” (peridoles) inside each nest contain spores which are launched out of the nest during rain events.








By | 2017-12-01T14:01:56-04:00 February 9th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Some Fungi of The Bahamas

About the Author:

Ryann Rossi
My general research interests lie in the ecology of marine coastal ecosystems. I am most interested in the role plant diseases have in shaping the ecology of coastal and estuarine environments. I am currently studying the role of a plant pathogen in a die-off of Red Mangroves in The Bahamas. Follow Ryann Rossi