Ministry of natural resources of the Russian federation

       Polistovsky National Nature Reserve

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August 31 - Fungi research in Polistovsky Reserve

This year mycologists from Moscow initiated the survey of forests in the protected area.

Mushrooms in Polistovsky Reserve haven’t been studied thoroughly. Moreover, mushrooms haven’t been studied thoroughly in general in Russia, with its endless forests. This is facilitated by the hidden way of life of mushrooms - they spend most of their life in the form of mycelium in wood or in soil.

In Polistovsky Reserve, the first steps to describe its mushroom riches were made in 2010. The works were then conducted in the buffer zone by Ph.D. Shemyakina OA and a group of students of the Pskov State Pedagogical University. This year mycologists from Moscow initiated the survey of forests in the protected area. They visited a wetland forest 3 kilometers north-east of Polisto lake and an old mixed forest in the western part of the reserve. The road to it goes through a swamp, the path took 4 hours on a swamp-boat - in another way there is no way to get there.

Old-growth forests are home to many species of animals, plants and mushrooms and have a particular value. In this forest, the fallen trunks of old trees become a habitat for a variety of organisms, including fungi.

Despite the warm weather with no rain, there were a lot of different mushrooms in the forests. Most of all there were Lactarius, Cantharellus and Russula. Often they grew whole clearings. There were a lot of fly agarics, most often there was not a red fly agaric that is familiar to everyone, but another species fly agaric. Sometimes on the path of the researchers there were huge mushrooms of Boletus edulis. In addition, more than once came across a Cortinarius violaceus - a beautiful mushroom from the Red Book of the Pskov region.

The trunks of fallen trees, which are especially numerous in the old-growth forest, are covered with the fruit bodies of polypores of all ages - from fresh to very old. The most common ones were Ganoderma applanatum, reaching an incredible size, or the Fomitopsis pinicola. But there were less trivial finds, such as a polypore of gently blue color - Postia caesia, or a polypore with a very pleasant anise smell - Trametes suaveolens, found on willow trees near Polisto lake.

Of particular interest are two finds in the old-growth forest of Polyporus umbellatus, a fungus listed in the Red Book of Russia. Previously, it was not found in Polistovsky Reserve. The fruity body of this mushroom is a short-lived dense cluster of hats and legs the size of a small bedside table.

According to preliminary estimates, there will be at least 50 species in the list of fungi encountered in the two types of forest surveyed. In September it is planned to continue work.

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