The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Mushrooms are the sexual apparatus of the Fungi
The largest part of a fungal organism lives in the substrate: soil, logs, and leaves.
Hyphae grow through the substrate searching for food, it secreted powerful enzymes into the substrate to break down large and complex molecular structures into compounds the Mycelium can absorb and digest.
Hyphae come together to form reproductive structures we called mushrooms, trigger by environmental cues especially rain and heat.
We categorize mushrooms by comparing the means by which dispersed are produced.
Basidiomycetes fruiting bodies come in many forms but always have spore-bearing surfaces called Hymenium.
The shape of a mushroom has two main functions:
- Offering maximum surface in a minimum of space for spore production, Hymenia in form of gills pores etc.
- Optimal spore dispersing. Some are protected under cups other exposed on the branches like corals.
Basidiomycetes of the class Agaricales have an umbrella-like, cap-and-stem body shape and spores are borne on gills.
Many of the colorful and abundant Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador can be found in the depths of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve all year round.
The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador are essential functional components of the Amazonian ecosystem as decomposers, symbionts, and pathogens and they represent one of the most biodiverse groups of organisms on earth.
However, our knowledge of their diversity and ecological function in Neotropical Amazonian Lowland forests is limited.
The ecological interaction of macrofungi with other organisms in these forests is poorly understood due to the largely unexplored, but likely huge, fungal diversity, as well as the cryptic and ephemeral nature of many fungal species.
A major part of the global but unknown fungal biodiversity is assumed to occur in tropical regions.
The favorable environmental conditions throughout the year, a higher diversity of vascular plants that create niches and microhabitats for fungi, and the presence of many ecotones.
The diversity of macrofungi in tropical rainforests showed that the highest diversity in the Neotropics occurred in the Amazon Basin fungi being most species-rich.
The Amazon Rainforest is the perfect location if you would like to become a Fungi, the constant humidity combine with heat, the same one you feel in the ambiance as you drop off the airplane from the rustic airport, that unpleasant humidity turns out to be, the perfect combination for fungi to diversity in the Amazon Basin.
The Mushrooms and Fungi in the Amazon Rainforest plays an important role in the ecology of this huge wilderness, these organisms do a critical job of decomposing all kinds of materials from the forest itself.
Everything is a resource in the forest, watch it: Follow an old and finished canopy leaf falling to the ground.. where the community of mushroom, fungi, mycelium and many invertebrates specialized in turning useful everything to the basic elements of nature: Carbon, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, and Oxygen.
A tiny portion of the colors and shapes of the diversity of Mushrooms and Fungi of the Amazon Rainforest, can be found during a short walk in the trails nearby, move slowly, fix looks in the ground, along trunk, nearby a light gap can be very rewarding, some mushrooms and fungi are still in use by indigenous people to treat, diseases or food in some cases.
The diversity of Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador captured in photos after a short walk around the trails of Shiripuno Amazon Lodge. Enjoy it.
Where to find them?
- Light Gaps, all tree falls are suitable places to find them
- Rotting Trees,
- Soil in Terra Firme
- Soil in Varzea
Have fun finding them in the forest.
Common Mushroom and Fungi of the Rainforest
You can find the Common Mushrooms and Fungi of the Amazon Rainforest when having a gentle walk in the forest, look around for places with dead trunks, decomposing fruits, termites nest or nat colonies can be a good place to find them, here is a short list you can find: