Saturday, 25 June 2011

The subject of Slime-flux (fungus) and a visit to Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Slime-flux (fungus)

Received an email from a gentleman from Hampshire who has corresponded with me previously.
Whilst out walking in East Meon, Hampshire, he came across what is believed to be a
Slime-flux (fungus).   There are differing opinions as to what exactly is a slime-flux (fungus).
Opinion seems to be that it is a blend of fungi.  A mixture of bacteria and fungus.
It seems that several types of fungi are present and not all of the same genus and because bacteria is present as well,  it has been referred to as a "Microbial Mat".  (Microbial Mat is a term I have extracted from an article from The Association of British Fungi Groups).
The process can be caused by felling or pruning a tree, or a branch snapping off naturally, then fungi and bacterial invasion occurs.

For further information please refer to:
Field Mycology Oct 2006 7(4) p128-131 by Alick Henrici, Joyce Andrews and John Bailey regarding the "Tyntesfield Monster" that puzzled Kew until its identity was established.

Two photographs of the Slime-flux (fungus) can be seen on Browse 3.

With very special thanks for the photographs and pdf article sent by JB.

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire, March 2011

 "Calke Park is a rich and varied landscape, from rolling grassland to ancient oaks.  80 hectares of the 240 hectare park is a National Nature Reserve, of international wildlife and importance and a Site of Special Scientific Interest"
 Source National Trust.
Set off for Calke Abbey.  Packed lunch included flask of tomato soup and cold Sussex pasties made the night before.  We were blessed with sunshine, though it was cold.  Two hours passed and no fungi to be seen, until I decided to investigate some cow dung.  Was very excited to discover something.  For obvious hygiene reasons I managed to curb my enthusiasm until after lunch on a nearby log.

I believe the fungi in the dung is Coprinus pseudoradiatus which is very similar to C radiatus but the stem is much taller in C pseudoradiatus.  A lovely delicate little mushroom -  grey cap, with the characteristic grooves of Coprinus. 
All photographs can be viewed on Browse 3.

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