Fungi is an essential feature of the rainforest. It decomposes organisms and absorbs the nutrients, returning them to the soil. But, fungi also have other functions within the ecosystem. An interesting one is the wood-decaying fungi which eat holes in tree trunks enabling wood peckers to find a nest hole. They may also have a role in the weather system, have medicinal properties and a recent find–a plastic eating one, which could solve one of the planets greatest problems…plastic pollution.
Fungus can be seen growing on fallen, rotting trees and branches in the forest. It may stay on the wood for many days, or at other times it will bloom for only a short while, shrivelling up and dying at the first touch of a suns ray. That’s what happened to the first fungi I photographed. It bloomed quickly on a tree trunk after a heavy rainfall. As soon as the sun came out, it died off, leaving no sign it had ever been there.
The Red Fungus (Pycnoporus sanguineus) I believe was another hardy, woody fungi. Again found on a forest trek. It is thought to have important medicinal benefits.
Unfortunately I am not an expert, so am unable to name most of the fungi I have seen. Any fungi expert wishing to help me out and add to my knowledge would be most welcome to point out names and be credited in the post.