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Shelf Fungus On Bark - Quinault Temperate Rain Forest - Olympic Peninsula Wa
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© CT-Graphics - Christine Till
Take a mild coastal climate, which rarely freezes in winter or goes above 80 degrees in summer, add a good dose of rain (say 12 feet (3,50 meter) or so a year), add some summer fog and you have the ingredients for a rare temperate rain forest.
With so few temperate rain forests in the world, those found in the Pacific Northwest, e.g. in Washington's Olympic National Park, take on a very special role as a valuable ecosystem.
Quinault temperate rainforest is moist enough that mosses and fungi can grow on the trunks of trees.
The fungi we see are only the tip of the iceberg; most of the fungus consists of tiny strands (hyphae) spreading through the wood or the soil. Only when it is time for reproduction does the fungus produce a fruiting body, which appears on the surface for the sole purpose of propagating spores to spread the fungus to new areas.
February 20th, 2011
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