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I was especially interested in your observation of a spectrum of forms for a purportedly single species: a range from “normal” fbs to fully secotioid ones. It appears that some mushrooms like to hedge their bets by randomly throwing up different forms. Whether they become selected for or against still remains to be seen.
My money is on the appearance and perhaps eventual dominance of many more secotioid fungi, esp. in xeric environments like Australia and California. We should expect the fungi to adapt to the changing environment, and moisture retention in drying terrains is gonna be a biggie.
It is fascinating to be in the midst of all this change, although like most I am not so happy to see it happen so rapidly in my own lifetime. Still, life will find a way, and we can help to chart the progress on the fungal front.
The discovery of highly unusual secotioid Inocybe species, some of which also show “normal forms” in both OZ and California, has helped to fuel my interest in this phenomenon.
The gills are pale in the specimen shown but darken quickly in older specimens. I uploaded another photo showing the gills of the older mushroom. I’m relatively confident this is a Cortinarius. The dominant tree species are Eucalypts (E. tricarpa, E. melliodora and E. microcarpa).
It’s possible that this is a transitional form. The area these were found contains a number of sequestrate and semi-sequestrate Cortinarius species. I have found this species numerous times in this area. They never quite emerge from the leaf litter, but push the litter up enough to expose the gills. They are often too old and rotten by the time I notice them to get good photos.
White or whitish gills look more like Tricholoma to me. There’s more. The gills have grown together (or fused), indicating this fungus may be transitioning towards an underground fungus, becoming truffle-like. Bulbous base, gills fused together, distorted cap all interesting features. Needs to be conserved for future reference.
Since all Tricholoma (or at least most that I know of) are mycorrhizal, need to include what trees and shrubs were nearby as well.
Created: 2014-06-27 08:51:19 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2014-06-27 11:33:21 CDT (-0500)
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