Code: Bot_821/2014_DSC2477

Habitat: alpine grassland, almost flat terrain, shallow calcareous skeletal ground with some silicate, relatively dry and warm place, full sun; exposed to direct rain; growing among Rhododendron hirsutum, Homogyne alpina, Antenaria carpatica, Dryas octopetala, Salix retusa, Helianthemum sp., Polygonum viviparum, Alchemilla sp., Potentilla crantzii, Trifolium montanum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Thymus serpyllum agg., Centraria islandica; average precipitations ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature 0-2 deg C, elevation 1.975 m (6.500 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.

Substratum: apparently soil and debris of Dryas octopetala roots and branches.

Place: Mt. Mangart’s flats, east of the beginning of Mt. Mangart terminal road loop, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC

Comments: Gymnopus dryophilus is a saprophytic species. Standard books generally consider it growing in all kinds of woods under trees (Ref.:7 and elsewhere). Its Latin species name suggests the same – ‘dryophilus’ means ‘oak loving’. Similarly does its German name – ‘Waldfreund’ means ‘friend of woods’. It is most common in submontane elevations 400-600 m (Ref.: 6.). That is why I was initially reluctant regarding my determination of these fungi found in open stony grassland far of any trees in an alpine phytogeographical region at around 2.000 m (6.500 feet) elevation. Later I realized that the species has been found in similar habitats also at significantly higher elevations than this: in Stubaier Alps, Austria (Ref.: 2) and Italian West Alps (Ref.:5), in Switzerland (Ref. 3), in Pyrenees (Ref.:4) and elsewhere outside of its ‘traditional’ habitats, for example in glacier forefront in Scandinavia (Ref. 8). Apparently the species must have a very broad ecological range.

Growing mostly in groups of a few to several fruit bodies. Over 40 pilei were found in a plot of about 4 × 4 m. Pileus diameter 4(6) cm, stipe up to 8 cm long and up to 8 mm in diameter; SP white.

Nikon D700/Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8 and Canon G11, 6.1-30mm/f2.8-4.5

Proposed Names

85% (1)
Recognized by sight
Used references: (1) Personal communication with Mr. Gregor Podgornik, NAC Natural History Center, Tolmin, SI and Mr. Bojan Rot, www.gobenabovskem,si
(2) H. Besl, Beiträge zur Kryptogamen flora im Gebiet der Neuen Regensburger Hutte (Stubaier Alpen, Österreich), Hoppea, Denkschr. Regensb. Bot. Ges., Vol.61 (2000), pp57-69
(3) B. Senn-Irlet, Macromycetes in alpine bed communities – mycocoenological investigations, Acta Bot. Neerl., Vol. 37(2) (1988), pp 251-263
(4) J. Vila, J. Llistosella, X. Llimona, Contribucio al Coneixement dels fongs de l’estatge Alpi dels Pirineus de Catalunya, Rev. Catal. Micol., Vol. 20. (1997), pp 221-232.
(5) G.L. Bue, F. Montachhhini, A. Ceruti, Macromycetes of the alpine belt: Mycocoenological investigations in the Western Italian Alps by multivariate methods, Coenoses, Vol. 9(3). (1994), pp 103-153
(6) G.J. Krieglsteiner (Hrsg.), Die Grosspilze Baden-Württembergs, Band 3., Ulmer (2001), p 206.
(7) D. Arora, Mushrooms Demystified, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley (1986), p 215.
(8) G. Alfredsen, K. Høiland, Succession of terrestrial macrofungi along a deglaciation gradient at Glacier Blåisen, South Norway, Nord. J. of Botany, Vol 21(1) (2001), pp 19-37.
(9) R. Phillips, Mushrooms, Macmillan (2006), p 122.
(10) S. Buczacki, Collins Fungi Guide, Collins (2012), p 174.
(11) M. Bon, Parey’s Buch der Pilze, Kosmos (2005), p 178.
Based on microscopic features:
Spores smooth. Dimensions: 6.6 [7.1 ; 7.3] 7.8 × 3.2 [3.5 ; 3.7] 3.9 microns, Q = 1.8 2 2.2; N = 40; C = 95%, Me = 7.2 × 3.6 microns; Qe = 2. Olympus CH20, NEA 100x/1.25, magnification 1.000 x, oil (spores) and NEA 40x/0.65, magnification 400x, in water. AmScope MA500 digital camera.
Based on chemical features: Taste and smell indistinctive, mild and mushroomy.

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