Shelf Fungi in Citrus Plantation

March 29, 2019

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Photographer: Menashe Davidson 
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson 

Featured above are photos of a shelf fungus (Ganoderma spp.) or bracket fungus that I observed in my citrus plantation in Tira, Israel. It's named for the shelf-like fruiting structure that the fungus grows to reproduce itself by creating spores. The cap can reach 12 inches (30 cm) across and may be 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick. This fungus invades trees through wounds in the trunk or root and over time (perhaps as long as 20 years) causes extensive decay and will eventually kill the host tree. As shown here the fungus continued to live on dead wood even after the top part of the tree was removed.

Typically, in early autumn the fungus releases billions of brownish red spores that cover the upper surface of the bracket. The bottom photo shows the underside of the fungus cap. The circular spots are where the tissue will rupture to release the spores. Photos taken on October 21, 2018.

Photo Details: Top - Camera: Apple iPhone 6s; Software: Windows Photo Editor 10; Exposure Time: 0.059s (1/17); Aperture: ƒ/2.2; ISO equivalent: 250; Focal Length (35mm): 29. Bottom - Camera: NIKON D7100; Software: Windows Photo Editor 10; Exposure Time: 0.0020s (1/500); Aperture: ƒ/13.0; ISO equivalent: 500; Focal Length (35mm): 210.