Each image in the submenu links has 3 lines of text
- Scientific name to genus or species level
- Common name ...this line may be missing if no common name exists
- 4 details about it
- Substrate soil S, wood/leaf litter W, dung D, invertebrate I, or rock R.
- Fruit-body form ...one of the following form types GILL PORE PUFFBALL EARTHSTAR BRACKET JELLY CUP DISC CORAL MOREL TOOTH LEATHER STINKHORN LICHEN MYXO
- If it is a Fungimap target species ...indicated by asterisk
- Nutritional Mode mycorrhizal M, saprophytic S, parasitic P or symbiotic Y
Each fungi guide link is for one of these 15 forms of fruiting-body. The exceptions to the group naming rule are Agaric (gill) Bolete (pore) and Slime Mould (myxo). A bracket is a spore bearing surface of a fruiting-body that is attached to the woody substrate without a stem.
Fungi of Central Victoria's Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands and Derived Grasslands
Hundreds, possibly thousands of species of fungi inhabit Central Victoria's Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands and Derived Grasslands*. Although rarely a focus of biodiversity management, fungi are vitally important to the health and resilience of these ecosystems. Fungi are the principle decomposers, breaking down organic material and recycling nutrients. Furthermore, the great majority of trees and other plants - including every orchid - form symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships with fungi.
However, many fungi may be threatened by processes that have resulted in widespread destruction or deterioration of these Woodlands. The remaining Woodlands are now largely restricted to isolated remnants. While awareness of threatened plants and animals is increasing, we often forget fungi. Given their symbioses with plants and animals, fungi are likely to also be similarly at risk to the impacts of these processes.
Fortunately, these Woodlands are now recognised in both State and National legislation, including the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (FFG Act 1998) and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act 2000) **. Various community programs are underway to maintain and restore Woodlands on both private and public land.
What are Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands and Derived Grasslands?
Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands are dominated by tree species including Blakeley's Red Gum (Eucalyptus blakelyi), White Box (Eucalyptus albens), Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora), Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) and Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii). The native herbacious ground layer contains species such as Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis), Wallaby Grasses (Austrodanthonia spp.), Spear Grasses (Austrostipa spp.), Common Everlastings (Chrysocephalum apiculatum), Flax Lillies (Dianella spp.) and a wide range of other herbs and grasses.
Although poorly known, many species of fungi including agarics (gilled fungi), boletes (fungi with pores), puffballs, jelly fungi, disc fungi, cup fungi and various others occur in these Woodlands. Maintaining a diversity of habitats and substrate types is critical to maintaining the diversity of fungi. Living trees, fallen woody debris, leaf litter, soils, herbivore scats and other organisms all provide vital fungi habitat.
One hundred fungal species that you may encounter in these habitats are illustrated in the submenus of this page. This collection also includes lichenised species and myxomycetes (slime moulds).
Fungal Nutritional Modes
Fungi can be divided into three groups based on how they obtain their nutrition:
- Saprobic fungi decompose dead organic matter.
- Parasitic fungi derive their nutrition from other living organisms, with no benefit to the host.
- Mycorrhizal fungi form symbiotic relationships with living organisms of benefit to both.
Lichens represent another symbiotic relationship. Lichens are composite organisms comprising a fungus and an alga or cyanobacterium.
Substrates for Fungi
Fungi grow on a variety of substrates in the Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands. These substrate types are indicated below each image: soil S, wood/leaf litter W, dung D, invertebrate I, or rock R.
Fungimap Target Species
Fungimap provides a hub for mycologists and fungal enthusiasts and aims to improve knowledge and conservation of Australian fungi. A major project involves mapping target species to determine the distribution of fungi. Fungimap target species are indicated by an asterisk (*). For more information about Australian Fungi or to submit a record of a species, visit Fungimap at www.fungimap.org
* Derived or Secondary Grasslands represent grasslands that have had the tree and/or shrub layer removed. However, Derived or Secondary Grasslands still have significant conservation value.
** The Northern Plains Grasslands and Grey Box-Buloke Grassy Woodland communities are both listed as threatened ecological communities under the FFG Act 1988, and Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii) is listed under the FFG Act as a threatened species. Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands and Derived Grasslands are listed as endangered communities under the EPBC Act 2000.
SELECTED VICTORIAN FIELD GUIDES (AVAILABLE FROM FUNGIMAP)
Grey, P. & Grey, E. (2005). Fungi Down Under. Fungimap, Melbourne.
McCann, I.R. (2003). Australian fungi illustrated. Macdown Productions, Vermont.
Fuhrer, B. A. (2005). A Field Guide to Australian Fungi. Bloomings Books, Melbourne.
Young, A. M. (2005). A Field Guide to the Fungi of Australia. New South Wales University Press, Sydney.
Wombat Forestcare (2013). Fungi of the Wombat Forest and Macedon Ranges. Wombat Forestcare Inc., Glenlyon.
WEBSITES of INTEREST
Wedderburn Consevation Management Network www.wedderburncmn.org
North Central Catchment Management Authority www.nccma.vic.gov.au
Field Naturalists Club of Victoria www.fncv.org.au
Australian National Botanic Gardens www.anbg.gov.au/fungi
CSIRO Fungibank www.fungibank.csiro.au
Atlas of Living Australia www.ala.org.au
Interactive Catalogue of Aust. Fungi www.rbg.vic.gov.au/dbpages/cat/index.php/fungicatalogue
The Australasian Mycological Society www.australasianmycology.com
Victorian Poisons Info Centre www.austin.org.au/poisons
A Guide to Managing Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands
Restoring and Managing Grassy Woodlands
All images © Alison Pouliot