Saturday, July 29, 2017

Some early Amanita toadstools - another symptom of a warmer world?

It seems strange to be blogging about toadstools like these in July ....... I can't recall seeing either of these in Weardale quite this early in the year. Both were photographed yesterday in Backstone Bank wood near Wolsingham in Weardale. There were also numerous larch boletes Suillus grevillei in the larch plantation and some slippery Jacks Suillus luteus amongst the Scots pines, mostly eaten by slugs.

Grey-spotted amanita 
Amanita spissa

Fly agaric 
Amanita muscaria

There is now quite a substantial body of evidence that fungi are fruiting earlier as a result of climate change, and in some cases fruiting in spring and autumn. Various reasons have been suggested, including one that mycorrhizal fungi like these (which form a symbiotic link with tree roots) are receiving more nutrients from the trees that now have a longer growing season. Another is that decay rates in forest soils are increasing as average temperatures rise.

A major survey at Cardiff university in 2007 revealed that some species are fruiting for much longer, with an increase in some species from 33 days in the 1950s to over 75 days.

Maybe summer fungal forays will become commonplace in future.

You can read more scientific research about the links between climate change and fungal fruiting times by clicking here and here and here and here


  1. When it comes to climate change, I think the words of politicians are very like fungi. They shouldn't be consumed unless you know exactly what you're dealing with.

    1. I sometimes think they must be under the influence of magic mushrooms


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.