Puffballs fungi

Marco Floriani mflorian at sun10.inf.unitn.it
Thu Oct 12 10:22:14 EST 1995

Many researches have been done on this topic by Gasteromycetes special-
ists, as these fungi often present very particular strategies to spread their
spores far from the place where they grow up (e.g.: the Phallales, whose spores
are transported by insects which fly onto their foetid gleba); among the puff-
balls (order Lycoperdales) we find several genera which differ one from the
other also for the type of dehiscence (I hope this is a correct english term),
that is, the way their peridium opens when the fungus is old.
	In the genus Lycoperdon, usually a single hole appears at the top, thus
the diffusion of spores is much helped by drops of rain; in the genus Calvatia
the dehiscence causes the loss of the superior half of the puffball, so the
plays a relevant role in the diffusion of the spores, which are exposed to the
air. Some other puffballs are sessile when old, and present many holes on their
peridium, so they are transported by the wind, and the spores come out from
these holes as they hit the ground.
	I can't remember anything else, but if you want I think I could give you
some references. I know that some experiments have been made with buckets
like some Nidulariales (Cyathus, Crucibulum) and water which demonstrate that
their shape is particularly suitable to have their ostioles thrown very far
the drops of water fall inside them (excuse me for my bad english, I hope you
understood what I meant to say).
Marco Floriani
Via Vigolana, 8
38057 Pergine Valsugana (TN)
Tel    : 0461/510450 
E-mail : <mflorian at inf.unitn.it>

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