Falls of Clyde Nature Notes

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THERE is at least one part of the woodland community that takes advantage of the wet weather.

Fungi are typically found in damp places, preferably where there is lots of decay, such as old woodlands like the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Falls of Clyde reserve.

The classification fungi refers to the kingdom of organisms and covers a huge range of weird and wonderful forms.

From classic mushrooms like those we eat, to microscopic fungi like that which causes Athlete’s foot.

Identifying individual species is tricky, so a brief overview of the types of fungi that can be found in woodlands is a good place to start.

The most familiar form of a fungi is the cap and stem type. These are the classic mushroom or toadstool shape.

They are often found on the ground, but can also grow from trees. This group includes the easily recognised fly agaric; a favourite seat for fairies.

Another group of fungi are those which have a stem but no cap. Many of these look almost like seaweed.

They can be found in grass or on wood and have great names like yellow stagshorn and earthtongues.

Bracket fungi are another easily identified group. They form a shelf-like structure on trees.

There may be an individual fan or several, making a set of shelves.

Very round fungi that seem to rupture out of the ground are known as puffballs.

They are named for their ability to cast their spores into the air by bursting open.

Common fungi that are often overlooked are spot fungi. They can be found on bark or leaves.

Fallen sycamore leaves that are marked with black spots are actually infected with the sycamore tarspot fungus.

For any enquiries, please contact the Falls of Clyde at fallsofclyde@swt.org.uk or phone on 01555 665262.