When: 2015-10-22

Collection location: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada [Click for map]

Who: Andrew (Tenaciousloyd)

No specimen available

Unknown polypore fruiting at the base of large, declining willow. Looks similar to Phaeolus schweinitzii, but I’ve never heard of it on willow. I suppose it could be fruiting on dead wood…any ideas? Thanks!


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By: Excited delirium [EXD]▼ (Excited delirium [EXD]▼)
2015-10-23 14:24:00 CDT (-0500)

I have not observed Phaeolus schweinitzii on Willow. All saprotrophs feed on dead or dying organic matter. Most mycologists will call this species a “pathogen,” and I’m hardly going to argue with that, but I will offer a thought: A pathogen is “a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. The term is most often used for agents that disrupt the normal physiology of a multicellular animal or plant.” It should be considered first and foremost a forest cleaner in the sense of breaking down dead wood into soil. It does not possess the characteristic of attacking living trees, but rather dead/dying trees, although all trees have “dead” and dying cells on them. Indirectly, it is a tree killer, a root-rotter, and a legitimate concern for those who manage tree farms, forests, and ecosystems.

Observed on willow before?
By: Andrew (Tenaciousloyd)
2015-10-23 13:01:40 CDT (-0500)

Have you observed Phaeolus schweinitzii occuring on a willow? and if so, is it a pathogen or saprotroph?