Aquatic stream mushroom

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by Frog, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    We found this mushroom, Vibrissea, two weeks ago - mycologist Paul K. pointed it out in a fast running stream midway up the mountain.

    It's maybe an eighth of an inch tall, and there were lots of them. I am happy to make its acquaintance, since it is so rare to find aquatic fungi visible to the unassisted eye. Furthermore I think it's pretty cute :-). I don't know if it only appears in this season or not. I hear the spores are pretty cool, but I've not seen them yet.

    - photo by my husband James
     

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  2. Illecippo

    Illecippo Active Member

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    Vibrissea truncorum, very nice!
     
  3. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks Illecippo - am glad you like this mushroom!
    I've searched many running streams since, but have not found any more of these.
     
  4. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    Have yet to see mushrooms IN a stream....close to? but not THIS close. Very neat little specimins! Will have too look up all the info on these.....thanx for sharing!
     
  5. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    A shot of the spores is posted here http://www.pbase.com/trichs/image/44609943
    Paul K. also posed a good question: If the spores are designed to float downstream, how do the fruiting bodies end up growing upstream?
     
  6. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    good question.....i'm curious? if maybe they work like creatures such as the horse-hair worm? as in...when they 'wave' in the water? a fish or other aquatic critter eats them....then takes them upstream to just 'release' them again? no idea but is an exciting thing to wait to find out about!
     
  7. GreenLarry

    GreenLarry Active Member 10 Years

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    Thats very neat,i'd never have thought there could be aquatic mushrooms!
     
  8. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yeah - trippy eh! There are marine fungi also, but my impression is that none of them could be said to produce "mushrooms" as such. From what I've read so far, it sounds like Vibrissea is the largest fully aquatic mushroom (noting that the bog beacon Mitrula is semi-aquatic) ... well, unless/until the mycological powers-that-be make a decision on the Psathyrella aquatica the Oregon people found.

    C. Wick: I think your idea of critter swallowing and going upstream is worth pursuing! I was wondering whether it leaves some sort of resting spore in place, but that still would not explain the farthest upstream occurrence.

    frog
     
  9. GreenLarry

    GreenLarry Active Member 10 Years

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    Could spores produced be carried by the wind upstream? That would be rather random tho.
     
  10. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I wonder if knowledge of wind patterns would help answer that? The spores are filamentous, presumably to travel better in water, but perhaps that would still work OK floating in the wind?

    I remember someone describing to me the wind updrafts on the side of mountains used by paragliders & hanggliders ... So if mountain streams are Vibrissea's usual habitat, perhaps that would add evidence to this theory?

    I found a couple of links to the only sizeable marine fungus I've heard of, which actually does have a mushroom, depending of course on one's definition of the term mushroom.
    a photo - http://cryo.naro.affrc.go.jp/sougou/joho/nia_vib.GIF
    a description w/some photos - http://www.nio.org/Biology/fungi/Micro-cd/htm/46.htm
     
  11. GreenLarry

    GreenLarry Active Member 10 Years

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    Fungi are amazing things aren't they! Filamentous spores,never heard of that before.
     
  12. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi,

    What a great little fungus.!

    I had a look at the spore photo. There is a whole group of aquatic micro-fungi, the aquatic hyphomycetes, many of which (all?) can live in flowing streams, some of them produce similar long filamentous spores. In these fungi, the spores are designed to get trapped/tangled on solid surfaces in the stream. Immediately on contact they produce an adhesive pad to hold them in place and they then germinate rapidly to produce new hyphae. These seem to be adaptations to stop them getting washed downstream.

    Presumably the thread like spores could get entrapped on any surface eg frog skin, duck feathers and then hitch a ride upstream.

    Nice photo, great fungus - thank you!
    Ciao
    BrianO
     

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