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Is leaf mold a fungi?  RSS feed

 
Miles Flansburg
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My land is about 60 % covered with aspen trees and each year I gain tons of biomass from the falling leaves. The snow falls and covers all of this and in the spring everything is covered with leaf mold. Since learning about mycelium and fugi I was wondering where this leaf mold fits in, if at all. It is sort of hard to see in the photos but there are whitish grey "threads" like a giant web, all over the leaves. The ground is very spongy and usually has a good moisture content. What do you all think?

apsen leaf mold 1.JPG
[Thumbnail for apsen leaf mold 1.JPG]
aspen leaf mold 2.JPG
[Thumbnail for aspen leaf mold 2.JPG]
 
John Polk
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WOW! One could build a lot of soil with a truck load of that rich looking stuff.

(I'm jealous.)

 
S Carreg
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I believe it is, yes. Leaves tend to decompose by fungi because they compact and usual aerobic microbes can't work as well.


And I am also jealous!
 
ross johnson
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whitish grey "threads" like a giant web, all over the leaves.


Thats mycelium.

Mycelium is made up of fungi cells called hyphae which are long and thread like, unlike yeast which are classified as fungi but do not have hyphae cells.

Mycelium is a mass of hyphae cells that have formed a sprawling network.

Mold is an informal term. If you see mold you are looking at mycelium.

Mycelium is considered the vegitative body of fungi. Some fungi form fruit bodies (mushrooms) others, ones we generally think of as mold just produce spores.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Ya I count my blessings everytime I walk through those woods. The soil is really thick and like a sponge to walk on.
Thanks Ross, I thought that might be the case from what I have been reading. I noticed last year there were a couple of mushrooms here and there also. But I didn't get a picture. I will try to get a picture this year if I see them again.
So the mushrooms would not come from the mycelium right?
 
ross johnson
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So the mushrooms would not come from the mycelium right?


Im not sure I understand the question.

Mushrooms do grow from mycelium. They are actually made entirely of mycelium; stem, veil cap everything EXCEPT the spores they produce are made of mycelium.

I think the mycelium growing on the surface of the leaves exposed to open air and sunlight was a phenomenon facilatated by the snow covering. A bio-mass of that size likely reaches even further then you see and a bit deeper too, so its activity more then likely generates enough warmth for it to colonize the fallout over the winter, but-being exposed to light and air, mushrooms would not likely grow off the surface even if that is a mushroom mycelium. They'd probably grow below the leaves at the interface of soil and duff and pop up through the leaves.

I dont think that that is a mushroom mycelium but it could be. If you pick up a wad of that you may see spores on the mycelium and that would be an indication of whether it is a fruiting mycelium or not.

BTW Im jealous too.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Thanks again Ross ! You are increasing my understanding everytime you post. Even though I do not know how to ask the right questions.
Next time I am up there I will have to dig into this a little bit and observe more, and take more pictures. This subject is something that is completely new and strange to me.
 
Miles Flansburg
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S Carreg, I am trying to understand your answer also.
Are you saying that because the leaves ,snow etc create an environment that tends to be more anaerobic the mycelium takes over where the usual composters cannot? So is mycelium more anaerobic?
Thanks for being patient with me.
 
Triato Vallejos
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Molds are fungi reproducing ´´asexually´´, they extend microscopic filaments that produce asexual spores at the top. Mooshrooms are produced when two diferent mycelium ´´individuals´´ with diferent genetic makeup meet, conect their hyphae (like fusing) and from the conection generate a mooshroom fruiting body. A fungus species may exist both as a mold and as a mooshroom, but for some species only one of the forms is known. For example: Metarrizium is an insect patogen mold that under certain conditions is also the cordiceps mooshroom, its mycelium can generate both the mold and the mooshroom, paul stamets talks a lot about that species.

Just to clarify, mycelium is the filament (hyphae) ´´web´´, it can exist in many forms and density. It is like fungus tisue, all reproduction structures grow from mycelium.
 
ross johnson
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Triato Vallejos wrote:Molds are fungi reproducing ´´asexually´´, they extend microscopic filaments that produce asexual spores at the top. Mooshrooms are produced when two diferent mycelium ´´individuals´´ with diferent genetic makeup meet, conect their hyphae (like fusing) and from the conection generate a mooshroom fruiting body. A fungus species may exist both as a mold and as a mooshroom, but for some species only one of the forms is known. For example: Metarrizium is an insect patogen mold that under certain conditions is also the cordiceps mooshroom, its mycelium can generate both the mold and the mooshroom, Paul Stamets talks a lot about that species.

Just to clarify, mycelium is the filament (hyphae) ´´web´´, it can exist in many forms and density. It is like fungus tisue, all reproduction structures grow from mycelium.


Mushrooms are created when two primary myceliums of the same variety with different genetic make up form a dikaryotic union to form a secondary mycleium. The secondary mycelium is a dikaryon made of two compatible nuclei; a mating pair of hyphae cells.

The secondary mycelium's hyphae has two seperrate nuclei ,but exchanges nutrients etc. Once the secondary mycelium has formed a mycelial mat, and the conditions are right they form a fruitbody. At the point where the spores are formed the dikaryotic cell exchanges genetic information;meiosis, and a new, geneticly unique spore is formed containing genetic information from both pairs of hyphae.

Again, mold is an informal term (usually with a negative conotation)for certain mycelia, and even some bacterias like slime molds. Non fruiting myceliums whether primary or secondary will not form a mushroom.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Great stuff, I can see that I have a lot more to learn!
 
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