Alexandra's focal taxon

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The Gill Fungi of Borneo

Alexandra Torres



Gill Fungi are part of the Kingdom Fungi and the Phylum Basidiomycota, which include Mushrooms and Allies.

The abundance of fungal species in the tropics is overwhelming. During this course, I formally recorded 30 gill fungi that I encountered during our hikes through the forest but I observed many more fungi than is noted here. So far there have not been many studies on fungal species in Borneo. I hope to somehow contribute to the studies by the character matrix and the phylogenetic tree that I constructed.

Contents

Character Matrix

Gill Fungi Character Matrix and Phylogenetic Tree |

Phylogeny

|

One of my characters was the color of the gills. This appears to be the most recently derived character.

Species list

Hygrocybe miniata

Morph1

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir next to the crane.

Morphological Description: This species is bright red and is shaped like a typical mushroom. I observed that the fungi were usually clustered in pairs. There was an abundance of this species in the soil lining the edge of the perimeter of the cleared land under the crane.

Morphotype 2

Morph2

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This species is very pale in color, almost white. It was found in a somewhat moist environment, the fungi was pretty damp when I removed it from the ground. The fungi stayed damp throughout the afternoon after I removed it from the forest.

Morphotype 3

Morph3

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This fungi is pale yellow or orange in color. The texture of this fungi is similar to the texture of Morph2 in that it is very damp and moist. The structure of the fungi itself was not very sturdy and appeared to be sensitive to disturbance. The stem appears to be somewhat flattened rather than in a nice round shape.

Morphotype 4

Morph4

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This fungi is somewhat light green in color. I found this particular species to be interesting because the size of its cap and the length of its stem appear to be disproportional to each other. The cap looks like it is too small for its stem. Additionally, the shape of its vulva is different from the vulvas of the previous three morphotypes.

Morphotype 5

Morph5

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This fungi is neutral colored and easily blends into the light colored soil of the Lambir forest. What is interesting about this fungi is that it has a cap that has a particular color gradient of going from brown to white. The cap also had little brown patches on it, the patches start off smooth but ended in ridges.

Morphotype 6

Morph6

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This fungi is brown and white in color. The cap is not very sturdy, it is in fact rather flimsy and is easily disturbed. Even the stem appears to be weak and not able to withstand much disturbance.

Morphotype 7

Morph7

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This species is off white in color and, similar to Morph7, is very delicate and does not appear to be able to handle disturbance very well.

Morphotype 8

Morph8

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This species is off white in color. Its cap is flattened out and the edges of the cap are smooth. It is very damp and it was covered in a lot of the soil at Lambir.

Morphotype 9

Morph9

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This species is off white in color. Its normal shape would have been a round cap with ridged edges. When I found it, it had a perfect hole in the cap. I wonder what might have caused that hole to be there.

Morphotype 10

Morph10

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This fungal species is normally white in color but when I found it it was brown from all the dirt and soil that was covering the fungus. What is really interesting about this species is that the cap is inverted rather than the typical lampshade mushroom cap. There are still gills on the underside of the cap, however these gills are more exposed to open air, and perhaps disturbance, than gills on a mushroom cap.

Morphotype 11

Morph11

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This fungi is brown at the center of the cap and then the color transitions into a transparent white as you move out from the center of the cap. The stem emerges not from the center of the cap but from one side.

Morphotype 12

Morph12

Location: Found on the forest floor at Lambir.

Morphological Description: This species of fungi is very interesting. It looks like a typical mushroom, white in color, except that it is very small in size. Additionally, two mushrooms appear to be fused together at the stem. I am amazed that the ratio of cap diameter to stem length appears to be the same between this tiny fungi and the other fungi I found at Lambir all of which were roughly the same size. The stem emerges not from the center of the cap but from one side.

Morphotype 13

Morph13

Location: Found on the forest floor at Gaya Island.

Morphological Description: This fungi is brown and white in color and the cap is inverted and very very smooth. The edges of the cap curl up and have a smooth edge, however, the curling appears to contribute to some breakage in the cap.

Morphotype 14

Morph14

Location: Found on the forest floor at Gaya Island.

Morphological Description: This species has a round and smooth cap and is normally white in color but when it was found, it had a lot of dirt on it which made it difficult to determine what the true color of the fungi was. The cap is an inverted cap. It has a round stem and the stem emerges not from the center of the cap but from one of its sides.

Morphotype 15

Morph15

Location: Found on the forest floor at Gaya Island.

Morphological Description: This species is pale yellow to orange in color. It has a very rough texture on the cap and along its stem. The stem is slightly flattened and comes out of the center of the cap.

Morphotype 16

Morph16

Location: Found on the forest floor at Mt. Kinabalu.

Morphological Description: This fungi was the first one I found when we were taking a walk in the upper montane forest at HQ at Mt. Kinabalu. The damp, rich soil produced many different types of fungi, this morphospecies being one of them. The color or the cap was brown and yellow but the combinations of the two colors on the cap resembled a desert floor that is full of cracks in the ground from lack of water. The texture of the cap was rather rough.

Morphotype 17

Morph17

Location: Found on the forest floor at Mt. Kinabalu.

Morphological Description: This fungi is pink and white in color. The cap starts off smooth in the middle but then turns into ridges as you reach the edges of the cap. The cap fans out and remains flat. Unfortunately when I found it, half of the cap was gone. But I was still able to make accurate observations from it.

Morphotype 18

Morph18

Location: Found on the forest floor at Mt. Kinabalu.

Morphological Description: This species is dark black in color but it is covered in a white powdery substance. It has a tough yet smooth texture on its cap and stem. The edge of the cap is smooth and the cap itself fans out and remains flat. It has a rounded stem that emerges from the center of the cap.

Morphotype 19

Morph19

Location: Found on the forest floor at Mt. Kinabalu.

Morphological Description: This fungi has a bright pink and red hue to it. It has a smooth texture. The edge of the cap is smooth and the cap itself fans out but rounds out at the same time. The stem is rounded and emerges from the center of the cap.

Morphotype 20

Morph20

Location: Found on the forest floor at Mt. Kinabalu.

Morphological Description: This fungi has the exact same morphology as Morphotype 19 except that this fungi has an inverted cap rather than a cap that fans out and rounds out slightly. Part of the cap of this fungi was broken but the shape of the cap could clearly be seen.

Morphotype 21

Morph21

Location: Found on the forest floor at Mt. Kinabalu.

Morphological Description: This cap of this fungi is brown in color but the fungi has a white stem. The edge of the cap is smooth and the cap fans out. The stem is rounded and it emerges from the center of the cap.

Morphotype 22

Morph22

Location: Found on the forest floor at Mt. Kinabalu.

Morphological Description: This fungi is brown in color but has a white stem. The edge of the cap is ridged and the cap fans out but also rounds out at the same time. This species has a round stem and the stem emerges from the center of the cap.

Morphotype 23

Morph23

Location: Found on the forest floor at Deramakot.

Morphological Description: This species is one of the more interesting ones that I found. The texture of the fungi is smooth but the cap is ridged. The color of this species is light to bright green, yet the gills are an off white color. The edge of the cap is smooth and the cap itself is in an inverted shape. The stem is rounded and emerges from the center of the cap.

Morphotype 24

Morph24

Location: Found on the forest floor at Deramakot.

Morphological Description: This species has a smooth texture and is brown in color. The texture of the cap is ridged. The color of the gills are white and the color of the stem is white. The edge of the cap is smooth and the cap fans out but rounds out at the same time. The shape of the stem is round and the stem emerges from the center of the cap.

Morphotype 25

Morph25

Location: Found on the forest floor at Deramakot.

Morphological Description: This species has a rough texture and the entire structure is a dark, black color. The edge of the cap is in a rough, contorted shape and the cap itself fans out. The stem is rounded and emerges out of the center of the cap.

Morphotype 26

Morph26

Location: Found on the forest floor at Deramakot.

Morphological Description: This species is off white in color. The cap has a distinctive dark brown spot in the center. These individuals of this species were found together in a cluster of 5. The stems are rough but the caps and the ends of the caps are smooth. The caps fan out and the stems are rounded and emerge from the center of the caps.

Morphotype 27

Morph27

Location: Found on the forest floor at Maliau Basin.

Morphological Description: This species is coral or orange in color. The individuals of this species are found in clusters of around 4 or so and there are many clusters near each other. Each individual has a smooth texture. The caps are also smooth but the edges of the caps are ridged. Each of the caps fan out. The shape of the stems are round and the stems emerge out of the centers of the caps.

Morphotype 28

Morph28

Location: Found on the forest floor at Maliau Basin.

Morphological Description: This species is very different from any of the other fungi on this list. Many individuals of this species are found on a single leaf. Each of the individuals has a white wiry stem and a very small white cap. The texture of the cap and stem is smooth and the cap is in the shape of a lampshade. The stem is a round stem and the stem emerges from the center of the cap.

Morphotype 29

Morph29

Location: Found on the forest floor at Maliau Basin.

Morphological Description: This species of fungi is a dark brown color and it has a smooth texture. The color of the gills is off white but the stem is a combination of brown and white. The edge of the cap is smooth and the structure of the cap is between a lampshade and a fanned out structure. The stem is round and it extends from the center of the cap.

Morphotype 30

Morph30

Location: Found on the forest floor at Maliau Basin.

Morphological Description: This species of fungi is probably the most exciting one I encountered throughout the trip. Both these individuals had a rough texture on the cap. They were brown in color and almost looked woody in their morphology. These two were definitely the largest fungi I have seen. Their strange morphology also caught my attention and captured my curiosity. One of the mushrooms had a round cap but the other one had a cap that was divided into four sections. The stems of both of these individuals were round and they both emerged from the center of the cap. I observed these fungi on the second day of the 4-day Maliau Hike and they were the most exciting part of the hike for me.

References

Pegler, David N. The Larger Fungi of Borneo. National History Publications. 1997

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Cam for all the help and assistance that he provided throughout the course.

Thank you to Bekti and Ross for their help and support, especially during project time.

Thank you to Aywen, Le, and Dita for helping me find some of my fungi.