mount royal wildlife

An ideal Autumn for fungi in the forest

An ideal Autumn for fungi in the forest

Fungi are an often invisible yet essential part of forests. These amazing organisms decompose wood and make nutrients available to plants and animals. Our forests are reliant upon them.

Autumn 2024 has seen one of the most prolific fungi fruiting seasons we have ever experienced at Callicoma Hill. Periodic rain and cool cloudy days for more than a month have been ideal for seeing fungi. Sometimes the above ground part of the fungi is only visible for a few days.

We have photographed many diverse shapes, colours and sizes within 20 metres of our eco-cabin. These range from tiny, barely visible mushrooms to the spectacular pink and white coral fungi. In fact, at least 40 species have been observed.

Some fungi are eaten by small native mammals such as bandicoots which are important for spreading fungi spores. Many native mammals have been shown to have fungi spores in their scats, meaning they are ingesting and dispersing fungi widely.

Many fungi are toxic to humans, so we advise against tasting any from the forest. It is also sensible to wash hands if touching them, and photographs are the ideal way of enjoying a glimpse at the incredible diversity of these organisms that are essential for life on Earth as we know it.

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