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The P&PDL Picture of the Week
for 25 November 2002

Saprophytic Fungi

Gail Ruhl, Senior Plant Disease Diagnostician/Interim P&PDL Director, Dept. of Botany and Plant Pathology

The fungi seen growing on these two dead limbs are called saprophytes. Saprophytes are decomposers. They do not kill the branches, rather they are using the dead tissue as a food source. They are an important part of the natural ecosystem, breaking down organic matter (such as dead wood) and turning it into soil components. Branches that fall to the ground are commonly colonized by many different , often colorful, species of fungi.

Click on the small image to view a larger image.

Saprophytic fungi on dead branches

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Last updated: 26 November 2002/amd
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University