During our two months surveying vegetation at Franklin State Forest, we have come across a variety of plants, animals, and fungi. Here I will document the myriad mushrooms and prolific polypores which appeared during this wet summer. As many cannot be identified without more thorough analysis of morphology and spores, these photos serve only to represent the diversity of the forest.
Fungi are in a kingdom apart from plants, animals, and protists. Fungi are a crucial yet discreet part of the ecosystem, taking the role of decomposer and often symbiont. A majority of plants have formed a symbioses with fungi, allowing the plant access to crucial nutrients. Without this relationship, plants may not have been able to colonize land in the first place.These photos show the fruiting body of the fungus on the forest floor and on decaying wood, but the majority of the fungus inconspicuously exists underground.