"puffball" fungi

Rosieola at aol.com Rosieola at aol.com
Sun Oct 1 22:32:51 EST 1995

-Does anyone have any comment on the theory that "puffball" fungi
-spread their spores by the action of raindrops striking them 
-and forcing the spores out of the hole at the top?
-Is this really a likely mechanism?  Is the action of wind a more
-likely mechanism?
-Dr Julian O'Dea
-jodea at mailhost.dpie.gov.au

My own personal, non-scientific, opinion is that yes it is a reasonable
mechanism, at least for the kind that have the small hole at the top. If
you've ever held a small puffball in your hand and lightly tapped the outer
surface you've seen how they disburse their spores in a puff of "smoke". The
the spores are contained within the puffball and are not very likely to have
access to the wind unless, as with many puffballs, the peridium tears and
exposes the spores.

The ones I like are the earthstars. their rays of the outer peridium lifts
them up as the moisture is absorbed. I keep one next to my kitchen sink so
that when I do my dishes, the thing stands up.

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