Monday 30 December 2019

2019 Wildlife Review: Fungi & Lichens


Dawlish Warren hosts an impressive range of over 450 fungi species ranging from large puffballs to minute leaf spots. One of the more noticeable of these so called microfungi is Hemlock Water Dropwort Rust Protomyces macrosporus which causes a gall to form on the host plant.

Hemlock Water Dropwort Rust - Alan Keatley

This year several new species were discovered, including Holly Leaf Tuft Pyrenochaeta ilicisWrack Spot Stigmidium ascophylliSycamore Mildew Sawadaea bicornis and Mint Rust Puccinia menthae, these groups are often identifiable by association with their host species.

Parasol Mushroom - Alan Keatley

In the main autumn season there were good numbers of Parasol Mushroom scattered across Greenland lake with Sandy Mushroom Agaricus devoniensis and Dune Brittlestem Psathyrella ammophila on Warren Point. Another good find was the Bird's Nest Fungi Crucibulum laeve, but Dune Stinkhorn remained absent. The main area for this species has been lost through a combination of erosion and the sea defence work.

Bird's Nest Fungi - Lee Collins

Amongst the larger mushrooms Ergot Claviceps purpurea var. spartinae was found on Cord-grass in the saltmarsh along with it's hyper parasite Gibberella gordonii, Hypocrea pulvinata was parasitizing Birch Polypore in Dead Dolphin Wood and several Pestle Puffball where growing under a sallow on Warren Point, these matured leaving behind their distinctive stems.

Pestle Puffball - Alan Keatley


Two of the Warren's rarest species both had a poor year with some Ramalina fraxinea lost when their trees were felled and one of the largest patches of Peltigera neckeri lost to erosion on Warren Point. On the plus side two brief visits in December found over 20 species new to the Recording Area including Aspicilia contortaCollema tenax, Opegrapha physciaria and Toninia aromatica, however three of these new species were found on cut vegetation awaiting burning.

The same visits also saw ten new species of lichenicolous fungi recorded on site including Vouauxiella lichenicolaIntralichen christiansenii and Didymocyrtis slaptoniensis

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