Ak Shara Foundation Blog Shiny Spores in Forests

Shiny Spores in Forests


shinyspores can be helpful in determining the species of mushroom you’re looking at. The spores of some mushrooms change color when mounted in an iodine reagent, such as Melzer’s Reagent or Lugol’s Reagent. This bluish-black color change can help you separate spores that are not amyloid from those that are amyloid (see Rhodocollybia and Gymnopus for examples).

Shiny Spores in Forests

Most forest areas have at least one polypore species, which means they are likely to grow on trees. They can be found on a wide variety of woody plants, including birch, oak, maple, and ash.

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Some polypores are quite common on a particular type of tree and can help decompose that tree, which helps to protect against erosion. Varnish shelves are a good example of this.

Artist’s Conks are also a type of polypore that grows on trees. They can grow up to two feet across and produce billions of spores in a day during their summer and fall growing season.

They can be difficult to ID. They usually have a brown cap with white rings and closely-spaced gills, which disperse their spores.

If you’re not sure, try doing a spore print. Cut the cap off the mushroom, gills down, and place it on a piece of paper to see what the spores look like.

The spores of many woody polypores are bright in color and lighten with age to a dull yellowish brown. The spores of other woody polypores, such as Birch Polypore and Red-belted Polypore, are darker and more rusty in color.

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