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Canada's species


Their fossils are difficult to find, but fungi were definitely around 400 million years ago, already forming associations with plant roots, and there are potential fossils from 600 million years ago. Fungi include not only the familiar mushrooms, but all sorts of single-celled forms, smuts, and a fungus forms part of lichens as well.

Photo: Sinead CollinsAlthough they were once classified together with plants, fungi are definitely not plants. One of the major differences is that they do not photosynthesize (make sugars using the sun's energy), but feed by secreting enzymes onto their food. Fungi play the role of decomposer, breaking down organic materials. When they attack living organisms, they can be a serious problem; rusts, smuts, athlete's foot and Dutch elm disease are all caused by fungi. They are also used by humans for baking and brewing, and some species can be eaten. Penicillin is produced by a fungus.

Estimates of the number of fungus species are as high as 1.5 million, although only about 70 000 species have been identified. Fungi are divided into four groups, called divisions. They are the Basidiomycota (mushrooms, boletes, rusts and smuts), Zygomycota (bread molds), Ascomycota (cup fungi, morels, yeasts and sac fungi), and Chytridiomycota (chytrids).

Arrhenia aursicalpium
Arrhenia lobata
Baeospora myosura
Admirable Bolete Boletus mirabilis
Bryoglossum gracile
Cantharellula umbonata
Chroogomphus tomentosus
Chrysomphalina aurantiaca
Collybia bakerensis
Coprinus martinii
Crepidotus cinnabarinus
Crinipellis campanella
Crinipellis piceae
Crinipellis setipes
Cyphellostereum laeve
Cyptotrama asprata
Galerina paludosa
Gerronema subclavatum
Heliocybe sulcata
Hemimycena tortuosa
Hypholoma dispersum
Dispersed Naematoloma Hypholoma flavifolium
Sandy Laccaria Laccaria maritima
Sandy Laccaria Laccaria trullisata
Indigo Milky Lactarius indigo
Lentinus tigrinus
Lepista multiforme
Lyophyllum gibberosum
Lyophyllum palustre
White Marasmius Marasmiellus candidus
Marasmiellus filopes
Marasmiellus papillatus
Marasmiellus pluvius
Marasmius androsaceus
Marasmius epidryas
Marasmius epiphyllus
Marasmius pallidocephalus
Marasmius plicatulus
Marasmius pyrrhocephalus
Marasmius salalis
Marasmius tremulae
Melanotus textilis
Mitrula elegans
Mitrula lunulatospora
Mycena culmigena
Orange Mycena Mycena leaiana
Mycena lohwagii
Irregular Earth Tongue Neolecta irregularis
Neolecta vitellina
Neolentinus kauffmanii
Omphalina viridis
Panellus longinquus
Panellus violaceofulvus
Golden Flase Pholiota Phaeolepiota aurea
Phaeomarasmius erinaceus
Phytoconis ericetorum
Phytoconis luteovitellina
Pleuroflammula flammea
Liberty Cap Psilocybe semilanceata
Resinomycena acadiensis
Resinomycena montana
Resinomycena rhododendri
Resinomycena saccharifera
Netted Rhodotus Rhodotus palmatus
Stereopsis humphreyi
Strobilurus albipilatus
Strobilurus occidentalis
Douglas-fir Collybia Strobilurus trullisatus
Tetrapyrgos nigripes
Tetrapyrgos subdendrophora
White Matsutake Tricholoma magnivelare
Xerula furfuracea
Xerula megalospora
Xerula rubrobrunnescens