Follow Us

Latest News

Fungal research

Fungal research

1 February 2022

Forest pathologist Dr. Ian Hood (Scion) has been volunteering his precious retirement time to study the wood colonising fungi of Maungatautari. His research started in February 2021 and involves five sites spanning an area of 1.3 km in and adjacent to Te Tui a Tane, our southern enclosure at Maungatautari. Visits, approximately monthly (other than lockdowns), are used to scour fallen woody debris in sample sites for signs of fungal fruitbodies, and samples taken, then tagged for examination in the lab, where the fruitbodies are used to identify the fungi to species level.

Ian hopes to contribute to the knowledge of fungal diversity within the natural forest at Maungatautari and add to the understanding of seasonal fruiting patterns of some fungi, by utilising data and weather pattern information. With Ian’s fantastic knowledge of fungi and identification skills he has already recorded 26 species previously not identified at Maungatautari (as at February 2022) and has recorded over 70 species to have fruitbodies over the past year. 

Ian has also published two illustrated books on wood fungi and contributed numerous articles, and book chapters to publications. He is keen to share his knowledge so please do say hi and ask questions if you see him out and about at the maunga. It is fantastic to have such an esteemed forest pathologist dedicate his time and energy to Maungatautari – thank you Ian!

Photo credit Dr. Ian Wood

Ganoderma appalatum above (a bracket fungus) and stereum versicolor (below)

Fomitiporia robusta (heart rot fungus) in living pukatea

Auricularia cornea (wood ear fungus, fresh fruitbodies