Sunday, 18 September 2011

Friday Fungus Extra: Mapping Magic Mushrooms

Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) in woods above Ogden reservoir near Halifax, September 2011
Nice little piece in today's Sunday Telegraph on the success of common fungi in our changing climate:

Popular edible varieties such as the the chanterelle and porcini mushrooms are among those found to have changed where they grow, meaning they will become easier to find in the countryside.

Other species such as the distinctive jelly ear mushroom, Auricularia auricula-judge used to be found growing on the branches of elder trees, but researchers have now found them on 20 other plants.
Scientists are not certain exactly why the fungi have started to change their hosts but believe changes in the climate may be responsible. 

And the source of the piece is Dr Alan Gange, a mycologist at Royal Holloway, University of London who is asking the public to help map how common fungi are spread. And the good doctor's focus is on Amanita muscaria - the fly agaric (which the article does insist is poisonous presumably to avoid any reference to halucinogenic drugs):

He added: "The season for the Fly Agaric is about to begin – it usually fruits from late September to late October.

"This research is important from the scientific point of view – if fungi are moving around the environment, this has all sorts of implications for forestry practices and ecosystem functioning."

To report your sightings of the Fly Agaric please email Dr Gange on

Off you go then!


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