|Amanita muscaria (Agaricales)|
All members of this class produce basidiocarps and these range in size from tiny cups a few millimeters across to a giant polypore (Fomitiporia ellipsoidea) greater than several meters across and weighing up to 500 kilograms (1,100 lb).
The group also includes what are arguably the largest and oldest individual organisms on earth: the mycelium of Armillaria gallica have been estimated to extend over 150,000 square metres (37 acres) with a mass of 10,000 kg (22,000 lb) and an age of 1,500 years.
Nearly all species in the class are terrestrial (although a few are aquatic). They mostly function as decayers, especially of wood. However, some species are pathogenic or parasitic, and yet others are symbiotic. These include the important ectomycorrhizal symbionts of forest trees.
References[change | change source]
- Doweld A. (2001). Prosyllabus Tracheophytorum, Tentamen systematis plantarum vascularium (Tracheophyta) [An attempted system of the vascular plants]. Moscow, Russia: GEOS. pp. 1–111. .
- Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA. (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed ed.). Wallingford, UK: CABI. pp. 12–13. .
- Cui B-K, Dai Y-C. (2011). "Fomitiporia ellipsoidea has the largest fruiting body among the fungi". Fungal Biology 115 (9): 813–814. .
- Smith M, Bruhn JH, Anderson JB. (1992). "The fungus Armillaria bulbosa is among the largest and oldest living organisms". Nature 356 (6368): 428–431. .