Alien Fungi

Seems like not only plants and animals can be invasive. Yesterday, while walking along Forest Track, I spotted an unusual Fungi fruiting on a fallen log. It was a vivid orange colour and seemed to have an unusual pore arrangement on the underside. After snapping a few photos, I headed home to consult the field guides. Seeing nothing really to match, I uploaded the photo to http://www.Bowerbird.org.au  where a subscriber there quickly identified it as an exotic species, Favolaschia calocera otherwise known as Orange Pore Fungi.

Orange Pore Fungi - Favolaschia calocera, underside showing the pores.

Orange Pore Fungi – Favolaschia calocera

This Fungi apparently is a recent arrival to Australia the first record of it is from 2005. It was first observed in Madagascar and has recently spread to a number of countries across the globe. According to Wikipedia it colonises ruderal sites (Wastelands/Roadsides) where it can become the dominate species. Fingers crossed it does not become a dominate feature of our not so ruderal forests. Not sure how you can weed out or control a pest fungi.

Orange Pore Fungi - Favolaschia calocera

Orange Pore Fungi – Favolaschia calocera, View from the top showing the caps.

 

6 thoughts on “Alien Fungi

  1. It appears the alien fungi may not be so problematic – here’s a quote from an article from the Australasian Mycologist:
    “Although it appears to be an aggressive primary colonizer of a wide range of host wood species, including pteridophytes, conifers, mono- and dicotyledons, in both Italy and New Zealand, laboratory tests revealed that it was a weak competitor. Despite being able to produce anti-fungal compounds, F. calocera was easily displaced from colonized substrates by more competitive native and other wood decay species in vitro (Johnston et al.1998, 2006). It’s been suggested that perhaps F. calocera is simply filling a niche left by the absence of native fungi as a result of habitat modification (Johnston et al.1998, Vizzini et al.2009)” found at http://www.australasianmycology.com/pages/pdf/31/AM_31_Robinson.pdf

    • Hopefully that is the case, have you found any at Edward Hunter Reserve yet? The area I found it at Tarra-Bulga was in regrowth forest on the edge of a walking track, but given all that I would say the surrounding vegetation quality was relatively high, so not sure whether native fungi would likely to have be missing and leaving a niche open. There is clearly a dearth of knowledge about the distribution of Fungi in general, so whether or not it could be displacing native species we might never know. It will be interesting to see how widespread it becomes, it certainly seems to have spread at a rapid rate.

      • We’ve not seen any…yet. The article’s conclusion that the fungus is a weak competitor may, indeed, be famous last words, given its spread. It also reinforces your observation that there seems to be a lack of knowledge about fungi, and mechanisms around spread.

      • Glad you haven’t seen any. The distribution map on Atlas of Living Australia is interesting. Most records to date have been from eastern suburbs of Melbourne including Ferntree Gully and Bunyip State Park. Nothing further east until now, unless you include a couple of records from Lilly Pilly Gully at the Prom (2012 and 2013)

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