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Natural Consequences of Mycelial Landscaping and the Questions They Beg

Natural Consequences of Mycelial Landscaping and the Questions They Beg

Five months into our mycelial landscaping installation next to the Outdoor Classroom, we suspect armadillo and deer have realized the tasty potential of our blue and pearl oyster mushrooms. Every morning we are finding freshly nibbled and harvested outdoor fungal bouquets. Game cameras are being discussed as a possibility to confirm our suspicions and submit sightings to the Circle Acres Nature Preserve Project on iNaturalist. Do the animals eating the oyster mushrooms get physiological benefits (immunological health, improved weight, etc) from their new fungal diet? Observations, and the questions they provoke, are key to recording and determining the biological and ecological health of the Nature Preserve. Answers TBD…

- Kate Avery

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Species Sightings

Here are some of the flora, fauna and fungi spotted by MycoAlliance staff, Ecology Action staff, volunteers and visitors to the preserve in 2017 and 2018 so far:

o   Green Tree Frog Hyla cinereal

o   Carolina Mantis Stagmomantis carolina

o   Kangaroo Rat Dipodymus elator

o   Spiny-backed orb weaver Gasteracantha cancriformis

o   Four-Lined Skink Plestiodon tetragrammus

o   Red Shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus

o   Bobcat Lynx rufus

o   Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon

o   Coyotes Canis latrans

- Fungal Species sightings:

o   Trametes Versicolor Turkey Tail

o   Family Nidulariaceae Bird's nest fungi 

o   Ganoderma sessiliforme Reishi

o   Lysurus periphragmoides Stinkhorn

o   Auriculariales Wood Ear

o   Panus neostrigosus Shelf Fungi

Fungal Observations

Oyster mushrooms hunker down together in cold weather, exhibiting shorter height and width of the total flush and closer fruiting bodies.

Oyster mushrooms, blue and pearl, turn darker shades in cold temperatures.

Mycelium can traverse ice, and exhibit feeding behavior within ice.

Outdoor Shiitake fruiting blocks fruited the most observed singular fruiting bodies since August after two occasions of snow and freezing weather in December and January. Shiitakes love cold baths!

Secondary metabolites/fungal exudates become gel-like in cold weather.

Site Renovation and Maintenance Update

Our site renovation projects currently underway include: a public solar dehydrator, public Fungarium building, garden demo area renovations, mycelium factory renovations and adjusting our compost system.

Katie Avery