Fungi have different roles in nature - the most common are
- Parasites (which feed off of, or sometimes kill the living organisms they grow on)
- Saprobes (which break down dead wood, soil, or other material)
- Mutualists (which form mycorrhizae, mutually beneficial relationships with oak or pine trees)
If you have a mushroom or other fungus, this key will show you what role it plays in its environment.
Grasslands and wetlands mostly contain saprobes
, while healthy oak or pine woodlands usually
have a mixture of all three types.
Disclaimer : this is a nontechnical key for anyone's use. It does not try to cover every single type of fungus, but will have an accuracy
rate of about 95% (at least in the central United States).
|What is the mushroom or fungus growing on?|
This includes logs, tree trunks,
branches, sticks, etc.
An extremely rotted log can also
function like soil in this situation.
Leaves, other mushrooms, etc.