Bjerkandera adusta: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Bjerkandera adusta Mushroom
Bjerkandera adusta is a widely distributed wood decay fungus commonly associated with the decomposition of hardwoods.
Microscopic thread-like hyphae colonize and degrade dead wood, and visually striking shelf-like fruiting bodies often appear on the surface. During the decay process, all components of the wood cell walls are degraded including the cellulose, hemicellulose, and recalcitrant lignin.
Accordingly, this species is often referred to as a 'white-rot' fungus and related to other sequenced fungi such as Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Cerioporiopsis subvermispora, and Trametes versicolor.
Also, it can be mistaken with Bjerkandera fumosa (Persoon: Fries) Karsten 1879, which, however, is quite less diffused, at least in Italy, it differs due to the darker colouration of the carpophore, the spores slightly smaller, the porous surface from whitish to cream and the pores slightly bigger, the habitat is only on broad-leaved plants.
Other names: Smoky Polypore, Smoky Bracket.
Bjerkandera adusta Identification
Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods and, rarely, conifers; causing a white rot; annual; appearing year-round; widely distributed throughout North America.
Bracket-like to shelf-like (and usually fused laterally with other caps), or merely a turned-over edge above a spreading pore surface - or occasionally lacking entirely; semicircular to irregular in outline; convex to flat; to about 10 cm wide and 6 cm deep; velvety to finely hairy, becoming bald with maturity; whitish to grayish, tan, or brownish; sometimes zoned; when mature with a brown to the black margin.
Gray to black; sometimes bruising darker black; with 6-7 tiny, angular pores per mm; tubes to 2 mm deep.
Whitish to faintly brownish; tough and corky or leathery.
Spore Print: White.
Bjerkandera adusta Taxonomy & Etymology
Smoky Bracket was first described scientifically in 1787 by German botanist Carl Ludwig Willdenow (1765 - 1812), who gave it the binomial name Boletus adustus. Nearly a century later, in 1880, this wood-rotting fungus acquired its currently-accepted scientific name when Finnish mycologist Petter Adolf Karsten, who created the genus Bjerkandera and several other genera, renamed it Bjerkandera adusta.
Synonyms of Bjerkandera adusta include Boletus adustus Willd., Boletus carpineus Sowerby, Boletus crispus Pers., Polyporus adustus (Willd.) Fr., Polyporus crispus (Pers.) Fr., Leptoporus adustus (Willd.) Quél., Polyporus adustus f. resupinata Bres., Gloeoporus adustus (Willd.) Pilát, and Bjerkandera adusta f. resupinata (Bourdot & Galzin) Domanski, Orlos & Skirg. (NB Some authorities place this species in the family Hapalopilaceae.)
The specific epithet adusta means scorched, while the genus Bjerkandera was named in honour of Clas Bjerkander (1735 - 1795), a Swedish clergyman, meteorologist, botanist, and entomologist who studied at the University of Uppsala, where many other famous Swedish naturalists including Carl Linnaeus and, later, Elias Magnus Fries carried out much of their research and teaching.
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