Forests, Lands, and NR Operations

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Polypores of British Columbia (Fungi: Basidiomycota)

Author(s) or contact(s): J. Ginns
Source: Forests, Lands, and NR Operations
Subject: Biodiversity, Botany, Fungus, Mushrooms, Root Rot
Series: Technical Report
Other details:  Published 2017. Hardcopy is available.


Nearly 200 species of polypores (Fungi: Basidiomycota) are accepted as part of the mycoflora of British Columbia, Canada. The lifestyle of the pathogenic polypores causes significant loss of timber value, especially in old-growth stands. The killing of trees affects species composition, stand density and structure, and the direction and rate of forest succession. Most polypores are saprobes and play a highly beneficial role by contributing to nutrient recycling through the decay of woody debris in forests. The rotted debris promotes growth of tree seedlings and other plants and increases the biodiversity of the forests.

A main purpose of this report is to ease the identification of polypore specimens through a step-by-step reduction of the number of probable names for an unnamed collection. This is accomplished in three ways. First, several series of comprehensive keys lead the user to names of genera and species. Next, the user compares their unnamed specimen with colour photographs of the basidiomata. Finally, the user confirms the identification with a detailed account of each genus or species that includes its known habitats and geographical distribution. The description emphasizes features of fresh basidiomata, such as condition, colour, and size, and also notes critical microscopic characters.

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Updated June 23, 2017