Fungi, trees and birds


This 11 September 2016 Dutch video from Gelderland regional TV is about a cyclists’ protest, organised by the Party for the Animals, against the Dutch royals hunting on the big Het Loo estate near Apeldoorn city, causing most bicycle tracks and footpaths to be closed off to the public.

Het Loo is called a royal domain, but is in fact property of the Dutch government. However, the Dutch royal family has the right to use it, eg, to hunt there and to close off roads and paths which might hinder hunting from September till December. “So, public property, but the public is not welcome”, a Wiesel village resident said.

Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1876-1934), who became Prince Consort of the Netherlands, imported wild boar from his native Germany to hunt in Het Loo. This led to entry restrictions.

When Queen Wilhelmina, Henry’s wife, lived as a widow at Het Loo, there was less hunting and more paths became open to the public.

But after Wilhelmina’s death, royal hunting increased again, and so did access restrictions against the public.

After 10 November 2017 in Wenum-Wiesel in the Veluwe region came 11 November.

A robin just outside the window.

We are on our way to Het Loo. Just before the entrance gate, we hear a jay. And see an ancient barrow grave.

We pass the entrance gate, and proceed on the only ‘legal’ bicycle track. To the left and right, numerous signs of No entry.

Het Loo, 11 November 2017

Many trees with beautiful autumn leaves.

Het Loo, on 11 November 2017

A chaffinch. Great spotted woodpecker sound.

Fungi, 11 November 2017

A branch on the ground with beautiful orange fungi on it. Yellow stagshorn? To the right of it, another branch with brownish fungi.

Autumn leaves, 11 November 2017

More autumn leaves. Some on the forest floor …

Autumn leaves, on 11 November 2017

… some still on the trees.

Tinder fungi, 11 November 2017

A bit further, a fallen tree with many fungi on it. Including tinder fungi.

Tinder fungus, 11 November 2017

Including these big tinder fungi with orange undersides.

Tinder fungi, 11 November 2017

Stil more tinder fungi on the same big tree.

We continue to the Soerense veld. That is a heathland area. We thought heathland would be an interesting change from forest. However, another sign says No entry, because of royal family hunting. So, we go back.

Meibeek, 11 November 2017

Late in the afternoon, we go to the Meibeek stream. Sometimes people see kingfishers there. We don’t see them, but we do see beautiful reflections in the water.

Close to the Meibeek bank, an amethyst deceiver mushroom.

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Veluwe birds and fungi, first day


This video is about Wenum-Wiesel village near Apeldoorn city in the Veluwe region.

On 9 November 2017, we traveled to Wenum-Wiesel; which is close to woodland.

From the train to Apeldoorn, a great egret in a meadow.

In Wenum-Wiesel, robin, blackbird and jay sounds.

Not far away, a fairy ring of clouded agaric mushrooms.

As we walk among trees with beautiful autumn leaves, a male chaffinch and a female blackbird along the road.

Rare elfin saddle fungus back in the Netherlands


Elfin saddle, photo by Gerhard Koller

Elfin saddle fungi had been extinct in the Netherlands since 1988.

Nature Today reports that recently fourteen elfin saddles have been found at two spots in the Lonnekerberg nature reserve in Overijssel province.

Fungi and autumn birds


This 17 October 2017 Dutch video is about the fungi in Haagse Bos forest in The Hague.

Vermilion waxcaps, 14 October 2017

On 14 October 2017, to Oud Poelgeest woodland. Quite some fungi, like these vermilion waxcaps.

Over the meadow east of Oud Poelgeest, an Egyptian goose flying.

On the banks of the water around Oud Poelgeest, sleeping mallards.

A bit further four mute swans, including a juvenile.

Sulphur tuft fungi on a tree stump.

In the water, many mallards and also four gadwall ducks.

A moorhen swims.

Vermilion waxcaps, on 14 October 2017

We find vermilion waxcaps.

Amethyst deceiver fungus, 14 October 2017

The most common fungi here now are amethyst deceiver mushrooms.

Amethyst deceiver fungus, on 14 October 2017

Jays flying.

Many mute swans, including young ones, in the castle pond.

Ring-necked parakeet sound. Robin sound.

As we cross the bridge out of Oud Poelgeest, a great crested grebe swimming.

We go to the Heempark.

Blue tits in a leafless treetop.

Heempark, 14 October 2017

The sun shining through the leaves.

Heempark leaves, 14 October 2017

Many leaves had autumn colours already.

Berries, 14 October 2017

There were berries.

At the pond, a grey heron hunting. Some of what it catches is so small they are probably water insects, not fish.

Two coots. A moorhen swimming.

Trees, 14 October 2017

Some trees had unusual shapes.

Slug eats sulphur tuft mushroom


This 3 October 2017 video shows a red slug eating a sulphur tuft mushroom.

The hole in its body is normal, for breathing.

Jan Tuin in the Netherlands made this video.

Many new underwater fungi species discovered in coral reef


This video is about a mushroom coral moving. It is not a fungus; it is coral.

This video from the USA says about itself:

This short film introduces one of the coral fungi (Family Clavariaceae, genus Ramaria) which is found in mixed hardwood and coniferous forests in autumn. Filmed at the Rydell NWR, Erskine, Minnesota (10 September 2016).

Coral fungi are fungi that look like coral, but are not coral.

Now, to organisms that are neither marine mushroom coral nor land-living coral fungi: to marine fungi.

This 27 September 2016 video is called ASPERGILLUS & COMMENTS ON MARINE FUNGI.

From the University of Hawaii at Manoa:

Botanists discover hundreds of species of fungi in deep coral ecosystems

July 12, 2017

Summary: Hundreds of potentially new species of fungi have been discovered in the deep coral ecosystem in the ‘Au’au channel off Maui, Hawai’i. These mesophotic coral ecosystems are generally found at depths between 130 – 500 feet and possess abundant plant (algal) life as well as new fish species.

Researchers from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM) Department of Botany have discovered hundreds of potentially new species of fungi in the deep coral ecosystem in the ‘Au’au channel off Maui, Hawai’i. Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCE) are generally found at depths between 130 — 500 feet and possess abundant plant (algal) life as well as new fish species. The mysteries of these reefs are only recently being revealed through technological advances in closed circuit rebreather diving. Previously overlooked — being too precarious for conventional SCUBA and too shallow to justify the cost of frequent submersible dives — mesophotic reefs continuously disclose breathtaking levels of biodiversity with each dive, yielding species and behavioral interactions new to science.

The UHM Hawai’i Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) used the Pisces V submersible to collect native algae from the mesophotic reefs in the ‘Au’au channel. Using the DNA sequencing facility at the UHM Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, Benjamin Wainwright, lead author of the study and UHM Botany postdoctoral researcher, and colleagues determined which species of fungus were associated with the native algae.

Fungi have been documented in almost all habitats on Earth, although marine fungi are less studied in comparison to their terrestrial counterparts. Scientists have found fungi in deep and shallow water corals, marine sponges and other invertebrates. The recently discovered fungi, however, were found living in association with algae.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first documented evidence confirming fungi in MCEs,” said Wainwright.

Additionally, the research team discovered that 27% of the species detected in these deep dark environments are also found on terrestrial rainforest plants in Hawai’i.

“Finding such high overlap of fungal diversity on terrestrial plants was surprising. Mesophotic reefs are as dark as it gets where photosynthesis is still possible, so to find the same species of fungi on forest plants illustrates the remarkable ability of some fungi to tolerate, and thrive, in extremely different habitats,” said Anthony Amend, senior author of the study and UHM associate professor of botany. “This ecological breadth is something that seemingly sets fungi apart from other organisms.”

Plant-associated fungi provide many benefits to society. For example, Taxol, a chemotherapy medication used to treat cancers, is produced by a fungus found inside tree bark and leaves. Additionally, research has shown that fungi are useful in bioremediation efforts (for example, oil spill and industrial waste treatment) and capable of breaking down plastic waste.

It is currently not known whether the newly discovered fungal species are pathogens, helpful symbionts or unimportant to their algae hosts.

“Further, we don’t currently know what metabolic capabilities they have that may prove to have medical or environmental applications,” said Wainwright. “We know other undiscovered species are present in these ecosystems. Unfortunately, if we do not look now we may miss our opportunity to benefit from them and conserve them.”

Deep reefs, like those in the ‘Au’au channel, may act as a refuge as Earth’s climate changes, providing habitat for any marine creatures that can take advantage of this deeper habitat. If this is indeed the case, understanding how this habitat functions and how the corals, algae and fungi interact with one another will be vital to preserving the refuge in the deep.

The results of this research are published here.

World’s oldest fossil mushroom discovery in Brazil


This video says about itself:

7 June 2017

The world’s oldest fossilized mushroom, dating from 115 million year ago, has been discovered in Brazil and is being called a ‘scientific wonder’. The mushroom fell into a river and began its journey in becoming a fossil at the time when Earth’s supercontinent Gondwana was breaking apart.

It made its way into a highly saline lagoon, sank through the stratified layers of salty water, and was covered in layers of fine sediment, in time becoming a fossil. The world’s oldest fossil mushroom was preserved in limestone, an extraordinarily rare event, researchers say.

From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the USA:

World’s oldest fossil mushroom found

June 7, 2017

Roughly 115 million years ago, when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana was breaking apart, a mushroom fell into a river and began an improbable journey. Its ultimate fate as a mineralized fossil preserved in limestone in northeast Brazil makes it a scientific wonder, scientists report in the journal PLOS ONE.

The mushroom somehow made its way into a highly saline lagoon, sank through the stratified layers of salty water and was covered in layer upon layer of fine sediments. In time — lots of it — the mushroom was mineralized, its tissues replaced by pyrite (fool’s gold), which later transformed into the mineral goethite, the researchers report.

“Most mushrooms grow and are gone within a few days,” said Illinois Natural History Survey paleontologist Sam Heads, who discovered the mushroom when digitizing a collection of fossils from the Crato Formation of Brazil. “The fact that this mushroom was preserved at all is just astonishing.

“When you think about it, the chances of this thing being here — the hurdles it had to overcome to get from where it was growing into the lagoon, be mineralized and preserved for 115 million years — have to be minuscule,” he said.

Before this discovery, the oldest fossil mushrooms found had been preserved in amber, said INHS mycologist Andrew Miller, a co-author of the new report. The next oldest mushroom fossils, found in amber in Southeast Asia, date to about 99 million years ago, he said.

“They were enveloped by a sticky tree resin and preserved as the resin fossilized, forming amber,” Heads said. “This is a much more likely scenario for the preservation of a mushroom, since resin falling from a tree directly onto the forest floor could readily preserve specimens. This certainly seems to have been the case, given the mushroom fossil record to date.”

The mushroom was about 5 centimeters (2 inches) tall. Electron microscopy revealed that it had gills under its cap, rather than pores or teeth, structures that release spores and that can aid in identifying species.

Fungi evolved before land plants and are responsible for the transition of plants from an aquatic to a terrestrial environment,” Miller said. “Associations formed between the fungal hyphae and plant roots. The fungi shuttled water and nutrients to the plants, which enabled land plants to adapt to a dry, nutrient-poor soil, and the plants fed sugars to the fungi through photosynthesis. This association still exists today.”

The researchers place the mushroom in the Agaricales order and have named it Gondwanagaricites magnificus.