In winter, there’s so little obvious plant activity that it’s easy to assume the forest is “asleep.” Not so. Many organisms are busy carrying out their roles all winter long. Among them are the fungi, such as this bracket pore fungus. It’s decomposing this old downed tree, converting it to nutrients for living trees to absorb and utilize or incorporate. This particular fungus is covered in spores that it released earlier this year, resulting in a dirty appearance. No matter! Decomposition may not be the neatest job in the forest, but it ranks right up there as one of the most important.
Agents of Change