Observation 221444: Rhizopogon Fr. & Nordholm
When: 2015-11-01
( 1006m)
Herbarium specimen reported

Notes: 2015110101
Area disturbed 12-13 years ago. Pine, fir, oak. These were growing alongside the skid trail.

No new staining, even after several hours. Odor mild.

Proposed Names

75% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus

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You’re right!
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-11-16 00:36:27 PST (-0800)

The hawk eats the squirrel, the squirrel eats the Rhizopogon, and together they spread the spores much further than either one by itself. This gives some hope to reforestation, as California Red-backed voles (the predominant truffle eater) seldom goes further than 100 yards from where it is born. Squirrels have a larger range of several acres. A hawk has a range of several hundred miles, especially during migration (as now, for instance). That’s why the Northern Spotted owl is so essential to Northern Flying squirrels and California Red-backed voles. In a single meal the owl can disperse not just the squirrels’ and voles’ most recent meals, but indeed spores which have been lodged in their cecum (a kind of mixing bend of the gut) for the past 3 months.

Chris Maser has shown that Northern Spotted owls can fly up to 100 miles a day in their search for food. Any time an owl drops an owl pellet, it also deposits the remains of several voles and squirrels, and their related truffle-related spores. It may seem odd that spores pass through a raptor unscathed. But that is apparently the case. A single vole “pooperoonie” (a unique term coined by Maser) contains over 100,000 spores. Each vole produces 300 of these a day. It takes about 10,000 spores to start a new fungus. How many spores an owl can carry is uncalculated that I am aware of, but massive.

Since all truffles and truffle-like fungi are mycorrhizal, this is how forest mycorrhizae are repopulated, provided there is adequate cover for Northern Spotted owls. Unfortunately a clearcut over 100 yards across allows the Great Horned owl to overtake and kill Northern Spotted owls. Clearcutting contributes to deforestation that way. Other raptors contribute to mycorrhizal fungi dispersal as well. But as their predominant meals are more varied, so is their ability to spread fungi.

Daniel: I returned to the collection location today….
By: (Aaron Cena) (mountainplayer)
2015-11-14 14:45:51 PST (-0800)

the only pine in the area is Ponderosa (3 needle). I really stomped around so that I could be certain that there were no 2 needle pines present. I knew that the elevation was too low for lodgepole, but thought perhaps there may have been a knobcone that I’d missed.

Observed many more of these fruiting, and tons of evidence of them being dug up by wildlife.

Interesting side note: right before parking the car, we startled a raptor of some kind at roadside that took off with a small squirrel in its talons. Didn’t get a good look at the bird, other than its flaired tail feathers were a light gray, with dark black banding. It was not a large raptor. Assuming that squirrel was eating tuber like fungi, I’d imagine its spores might travel a bit farther after the squirrels selfless sacrifice.

Daniel: I returned to the collection location today….
By: (Aaron Cena) (mountainplayer)
2015-11-14 14:44:37 PST (-0800)

the only pine in the area is Ponderosa (3 needle). I really stomped around so that I could be certain that there were no 2 needle pines present. I knew that the elevation was too low for lodgepole, but thought perhaps there may have been a knobcone that I’d missed.

Observed many more of these fruiting, and tons of evidence of them being dug up by wildlife.

Interesting side note: right before parking the car, we startled a raptor of some kind at roadside that took off with a small squirrel in its talons. Didn’t get a good look at the bird, other than its flaired tail feathers were a light gray, with dark black banding. It was not large, and may have been a Northern Goshawk.

Pine needles come in 2- or 3-needles per cluster.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-11-03 11:23:18 PST (-0800)

These are in 2-needle clusters.

I do not see what you see.
By: (Aaron Cena) (mountainplayer)
2015-11-03 09:57:29 PST (-0800)
That may be,
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-11-02 19:23:57 PST (-0800)

but the predominant needles in the photos you provides are 2-needle pine, not 3-needle (Ponderosa pine). The photos indicate that Lodgepole pine (or other 2-needle pine) is the most likely associate here.

The predominant tree species in the area of this observation are Ponderosa pine
By: (Aaron Cena) (mountainplayer)
2015-11-02 16:20:24 PST (-0800)

with some White and Douglas fir.

I’ll do a bit more looking into how this site works, in hopes of using it more effectively. I certainly don’t want to do anything to discourage species level identification.

I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

I meant it is important to leave somewhere to go with the identification.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-11-02 11:15:12 PST (-0800)

If you are certain the specimen is Rhizopogon for instance, I would put down “promising” instead of “I’d call it that”, to allow for a species name. If the best identification is Family, put down “could be” to allow for others to express their opinion on an observation. At least that’s what I try to do. But I’m always hoping for a genus-species identification eventually. Now that MO has so many more members, that hope may become more of a reality in time.

I did not mean to suggest you are not correct in your identification. Rather just to leave some wiggle room for the species to get in. Keep in mind that Alexander H. Smith, former identifier and scientific advisor for OMS, once said he had the largest collection of Rhizopogons in the world. He then qualified that statement by saying he also had the largest unidentified collection of Rhizopogons, too.

Thanks, Daniel
By: (Aaron Cena) (mountainplayer)
2015-11-02 10:02:53 PST (-0800)

I thought this could be R. occidentalis, but thought I’d post just the genus to leave it open for others to tell me what they thought.

Can you explain what you mean by “Take care, mountainplayer, in making a genus your best answer, though. That leaves no where for genus-species reply.”?

What should I have called this when posting, if my intention was to reveal what I believe to be the genus, but want input from the community on species?

The rhizomorphs
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-11-01 18:43:08 PST (-0800)

covering the lower portions of the sporocarps confirms Rhizopogon. Take care, mountainplayer, in making a genus your best answer, though. That leaves no where for genus-species reply.

This was found under 2-needle pine (Lodgepole?) and the sporocarps are quite young, even considering the elevation. I’d consider R. occidentalis for your area, but would need microscopy of spores for certainty.

Created: 2015-11-01 17:45:30 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2015-11-02 10:03:27 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 92 times, last viewed: 2017-04-22 18:34:11 PDT (-0700)
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