Observation 12081: Cystoderma amianthinum (Scop.) Fayod

When: 2008-10-04

Collection location: Forest near Elgin St., Pembroke, Ontario, Canada [Click for map]

Who: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)

No specimen available

Found more of these on the fourth, scattered, mainly in the mossy areas that I’ve been denoting in my personal maps as EA, T, 2, and 3. First photo shows two close-together specimens. Second and third show a different one from a relatively distant spot in the same general area — the third photo is of the same mushroom as the second, but it’s been overturned.

These were all in 3, an area with a single gnarled-growing pine species and mossy undergrowth. That pine species is different from the dominant pine species in the main forest, and appears in clearer areas and along the outskirts, as well as in stands and groves in outlying areas. The same areas where C. amianthinum occurs, so perhaps it is mycorrhizal with this tree.

I think there are at least three and perhaps as many as five pine species in these woods. The single dominant species forms large moderately dense woods, which if not mixed with many hardwoods have little undergrowth and little mycodiversity. It stands tall at maturity, and has needles as long as my hand is wide. Its branches are straight. The pine associated with C. amianthinum is shorter and more broadly conical at maturity, with shorter needles (maybe half the length of the other species’s, maybe a bit more) and twistier branches. A third species appears as single individual pines that are particularly tall, branch only starting fairly high up, and have quite long needles. These solitary giants appear in woods dominated by the first type listed here.

The “interesting” pine is associated not only with moss that contains C. amianthinum and Cantharellula umbonata, Rickenella fibula, Neolecta irregularis, and a few other species, but also with a mystery Amanita species from section Amanita (fly-agaric-like mushrooms). That tends to pop up outside the stands and groves and away from the moss, in grass. I’ll be posting an observation soon that shows three of those Amanitas at the base of one of these pines. No other tree species was close by, and we know Amanitas are mycorrhizal (with possibly a few arid-habitat exceptions).

The “interesting” pine also seems associated with heavier than usual occurrence of diverse boletes, from the two Suillus species in observations shortly before this observation to at least one species each of Leccinum (previous observation by me) and Tylopilus.

A single tree species can cover the ground with colorful and varied mushrooms, it seems, if it is the right species.

Mix tree species and add to the fun — birch trees not deep in the main woods give rise to fly agarics and the “Miracle Mile” in those woods has the densest and most diverse mix of trees, with the dominant pine species, birch, beech, maple, and the occasional oak. (If beech is the birch-like tree with bark that stays grey, and otherwise similar shape, stature, leaf shape, and leaf color.) It also has the densest and most diverse mix of fungi, and is the exclusive home within those woods of Cortinarius alboviolaceus, though I’ve also seen there other cortinarii (at least three others), Amanita flavoconia and A. citrina, at least half a dozen russulas, two corals, three cup fungi, and innumerable distinct LBMs, LWMs, larger hard-to-identify mushrooms, and the ubiquitous Dacrymyces palmatus found on seemingly every tenth chunk of fallen pine wood in the damper areas.

But I’ve recently discovered, on Sept. 29, a second fungus-rich ecology, revolving around this different pine species and a particular moss that often grows near and under it. Most of my observations of Sept. 29 or Oct. 4 with that stellate “fat pipe-cleaner” moss are from this particular ecology, and they pretty much cover all the major woodland cap-and-stem-mushroom genera except Cortinarius.

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Created: 2008-10-06 03:41:32 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2008-10-06 03:41:32 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 47 times, last viewed: 2018-02-15 13:15:57 PST (-0800)