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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 51

BRANDON PARK FUNGI 1959—2014 Change and Stability in Occurrence OLIVER RACKHAM This is an attempt to determine trends from the data from my 50 years of autumn visits to Brandon Park, Suffolk. The site Brandon Park is a country-house park established c. 1805. The geology is blown sand; in places there appear to be old dunes. Both in climate and soil it is one of the most arid places in Britain. On Hodskinson’s map of Suffolk (c. 1782) it is shown as open land, probably heath (rabbit warren) but could have been arable. By c.1820 (Ordnance Survey 1-inch) it was fully developed as a park around a minor country mansion; about one-fifth is shown as woodland (presumably plantation), the rest being open land with scattered small clumps of trees. Successive OS maps show not much change until the late 19th century, apart from the building of a mausoleum for the Bliss family. The present formal gardens, lawn, avenue of copper beeches, and lake date from around 1900. In the 1930s the site fell into the hands of the Forestry Commission, who infilled the grounds and remaining heath with plantations chiefly of Corsican Pine and some Scots Pine. A large area of plantation was broken or uprooted in the great storm of 1987. Much of this area was then cleared of trees and restored to heath, now grazed by sheep and cattle. The area has been a public place for many years. Around the house is a formal public Country Park. The house itself, dating from c. 1805, is a nursing home. There are probably no natural trees except birch. The plantations are mainly of beech around the house, merging into Scots Pine to the west and then into extensive Corsican Pine. Other trees include birch, oak, sycamore and larch. There are scattered ornamentals, including yew and Atlas Cedar. Not many trees date from the original park. A common pattern is for spreading, savanna-like beeches, Scots Pines, and larches, dating from the Bliss period, to be infilled with younger beech and Corsican Pine from FC times. Ground vegetation in the plantations is sparse but increasing; the pineries are conspicuously more grassy now than in the 1960s. Dead trees and rotten wood are abundant. They increased after the 1987 storm and re-creation of the heath; at one stage there was a big log-stack in the main ride. The lawn before the house is an example of Breckland-type acid grassland. Other more-or-less stable grassland follows the plantation rides. Heathland in the 1960s was reduced to remnants along rides in the plantations, but has now greatly increased. Brandon Park Heath is fully developed heathland, with dominant heather (from buried seed since before the plantations) and tracts of Cladonia lichens and Polytrichum mosses between the heather bushes. The data I was introduced to Brandon Park by Harry Hudson, who took excursions from Cambridge Botany School early in the Michaelmas Term each year. I have been nearly

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 51 (2015)


BRANDON PARK FUNGI 1959—2014 MONITORING BAT BOXES IN THETFORD FOREST

27

every year since at the same time, usually in mid-October, but varying from 30 September to 3 November — making some attempt to choose the most favourable time for visible fungi. The total number of fungi (identifiable in the field or in hand specimens) recorded is 507, of which 192 have been recorded only once. The list continues to increase: six were added in 2014. The number of species per visit varies from 9 (10 Oct. 2003) and 17 (24 Oct. 2011) to 96 (16 Oct. 2001) and 103 (30 Sept. 2010). Visits in the first decade produced rather fewer; this is partly a consequence of my increasing experience thereafter. There is a small but significant (P<0.025) tendency for visits later in the season to produce fewer fungi, partly because in poor seasons visits tended to be postponed in the hope of further rain. However, the mean date of recording different species seldom varied by more than 2 days from 13 October; exceptions include Lepiota procera that tends to be early (mean 10 Oct.) and Tubaria furfuracea that tends to be late (mean 19 Oct.). I did not notice years in which most of the fungi were either overor underdeveloped at the time of the visit. I have 107 species for which the records are sufficient to indicate trends in terms either of number of records per decade or of occasions on which they were especially abundant. Dividing the 50 years of records into groups of 10 years (omitting years with no visit), these are as follows: 14 species were most often recorded in the years 1959—1971: Mycorrhizals: Amanita rubescens Boletus badius, Boletus bovinus (Plate 14), Cantharellus cibarius, Lactarius rufus, Lactarius turpis Wood-rotters: Calocera viscosa, Paxillus atrotomentosus, Tricholomopsis rutilans Grassland: Hygrophorus hypothejus, Geoglossum sp. Heathland: Clavaria argillacea Uncertain: Coltricia perennis, Thelephora terrestris Litter: none 24 species were most often recorded in the years 1973—1984: Mycorrhizals: Amanita citrina, Amanita muscaria, Amanita phalloides, Boletus æruginascens, Boletus chrysenteron, Boletus edulis, Boletus elegans, Boletus granulatus, Boletus luteus, Boletus scaber, Gomphidius rutilus, Hygrophoropsis aurant, Lactarius deliciosus, Paxillus involutus Wood-rotter: Ramaria stricta Grassland: Clitocybe dealbata, Clitocybe rivulosa, Coprinus atramentarius, Coprinus comatus, Hygrophorus conicus Litter: Clitocybe clavipes, Collybia peronata, Geaster triplex, Lepiota cristata, Phallus impudicus 11 species were most often recorded in the years 1984—1994: Mycorrhizal: Boletus subtomentosus Wood-rotters: Oudemansiella radicata, Stereum hirsutum Grassland: Cystoderma amiantinum, Conocybe tenera, Hygrophorus virgineus Litter: Collybia butyracea, Collybia dryophila, Collybia maculata, Helvella crispa Various: Lycoperdon excipuliforme

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 51 (2015)


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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 51

13 species were most often recorded in the years 1994—2004: Mycorrhizals: Inocybe griseolilacina, Russula fragilis, Russula ochroleuca Wood-rotters: Polystictus abietinus, Stereum rugosum Grassland: Mycena ætites Litter: Clitocybe flaccida, Clitocybe infundibuliformis, Clitocybe vibecina, Collybia confluens Various: Lycoperdon perlatum, Mycena pura Uncertain: Mycena pseudopura 17 species were most often recorded in the years 2004—2014: Mycorrhizals: Hebeloma crustuliniforme, Hebeloma sinapizans, Inocybe fastigiata, Inocybe lilacina, Tricholoma sulphureum (Plate 15) Wood-rotters: Armillaria mucida, Crepidotus variabilis, Coprinus disseminatus, Xylaria hypoxylon Grassland: Bolbitius vitellinus Litter: Lepiota friesii Various: Clitocybe nebularis, Lepiota procera, Mycena alcalina, Tubaria furfuracea 29 species reveal no trend: Mycorrhizals: Cortinarius obtusus, Laccaria amethystina, Laccaria laccata, Lactarius blennius, Lactarius subdulcis, Lactarius tabidus, Russula atropurpurea, Russula mairei, Tricholoma terreum Wood-rotters: Coprinus micaceus, Coriolus versicolor, Fomes annosus, Gymnopilus penetrans, Hypholoma fasciculare, Polyporus betulinus Grassland: Hygrophorus niveus, Hygrophorus psittacinus, Marasmius oreades, Mycena epipterygia Litter: Clitocybe langei, Clitocybe odora, Marasmius wynneæ, Tricholoma nudum Moss: Galerina hypnorum Various: Coprinus plicatilis, Lepiota rhachodes, Melanoleuca melaleuca, Scleroderma aurantium, Stropharia æruginosa Conclusions After fifty years of recording, mostly by the same person, it begins to be possible to look for trends, but the task is more difficult than with most other kinds of wildlife. Many fungi are long-lived and undetectable in the mycorrhizal state — a conspicuous exception is Armillaria species, whose distinctive ‘bootlace’ mycelial aggregations show that the fungus is present all the time irrespective of whether it produces toadstools that year. In general, the absence of a fruit-body at a particular time of year does not prove that the fungus is not present. This is shown by the fact that more than one-third of the known species have been recorded only once. Amanita muscaria is now much declined from its abundance forty years ago (here as elsewhere); but it is still there in at least one of its old localities, for one toadstool was found in 2014. Hygrophorus virgineus was found year after year in one particular grassland site; after 2001 it was not seen again until one sporophore was produced in the same locality in 2014.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 51 (2015)


BRANDON PARK FUNGI 1959—2014 MONITORING BAT BOXES IN THETFORD FOREST

29

Obvious changes in the site within the period of the records have been few. The 1987 storm and making of Brandon Park Heath resulted in a profusion of woodrotters, but not many new species, in subsequent years. There have been more gradual changes resulting from the development of what in 1959 were relatively new plantations, from trees getting bigger and shading the remnants of grassland and heath, and from changes in the ground vegetation within plantations. There have been marked apparent changes in many of the commoner species. Many mycorrhizals now fruit less often, especially Boletaceæ and most species of Amanita, Lactarius, and Russula. This especially applies to conifer mycorrhizals; for example Boletus æruginascens and B. elegans, larch mycorrhizals (presumably exotic like larch itself), used to be seen almost every year, but only once since 1999, although the larch trees are still there. The rare Amanita junquillea, of which there was one clonal patch, persisted for some years after its pines were removed on the heath site, but was last seen in 2001. Decline of pine mycorrhizals seems to be correlated with the tendency of grasses to extend into the pinewoods: areas where fruit-bodies used to be abundant and varied have produced few since the grasses took over. Beech mycorrhizals have fared much better. Many show no trend, for example Laccaria species, Lactarius blennius, Russula mairei, and Cortinarius obtusus. Russula ochroleuca, mycorrhizal with beech and other trees, is the commonest agaric; it has been recorded in 44 out of 50 years and was among the three most abundant species in nine years. Some have fruited more often in recent years, such as Tricholoma sulphureum and species of Hebeloma and Inocybe. There has been no obvious change in the beech trees except that they have got bigger. Among grassland species, the apparent disappearance of Hygrophorus hypothejus and Geoglossum sp. (both last seen 1993) may be regarded as part of the widespread loss of ‘waxcap grassland’, perhaps due to increased fertility. Other Hygrophoraceæ still appear sporadically; Coprinus comatus appeared in one spot in 1977, perhaps following disturbance around the lake, and thereafter nearly every year until 1991 when it was last seen. This is probably a pioneer species with a short-lived mycelium. Among wood-rotters, the spectacular Tricholomopsis rutilans used to be found every year, sometimes abundantly; I last recorded it in 2004. Paxillus atrotomentosus has similarly declined. A number of others appear to have increased. The amount of rotting wood and stumps has not changed much, although they used to be mostly pine and there is now a wider range of species. This manuscript was found on Oliver’s computer after he died 12 February 2015; it had last been worked on 23 November 2014. Dr Jennifer Moody (Research fellow, Dept. of Classics, University of Texas) has kindly extracted the text and photographs. We are grateful to the executor’s of the Rackham estate for giving permission to publish here. In the table overleaf, names in italics are not current, see p. 32 for modern nomenclature. * 10-year period in which this was the most abundant sp. † year in which this was one of the 3 most abundant sp. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 51 (2015)


30

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 51 Years 59— 71

73— 84

85— 94

95— 04

05— 14

Mean date after 1 Oct 18 10½ 15½ 13 20½ Date range 8—34 3—21 1—23 4—24 -1—33 Mean no. of species 40 73 61 67 62 Amanita citrina 5 10* 7 8 6 Amanita muscaria 6 9* 3 — 3 Amanita phalloides 3 10* 5 4 2 Amanita rubescens 6* 5 1 1 1 Armillaria mucida — — — 2 3* Bolbitius vitellinus 2 1 1 2 4* Boletus æruginascens — 8* 2 2 1 Boletus badius 7* 8* 7 4 1 Boletus bovinus 7* 3 6 6 3 Boletus chrysenteron 1 6* 4 3 2 Boletus edulis 3* 3* 2 1 — Boletus elegans — 7* 6 3 — Boletus granulatus — 7* 1 — — Boletus luteus 3 4* 1 1 — Boletus scaber 3 6* — — 1 Boletus subtomentosus 2 3 2 3* 1 Calocera viscosa 6* 5 5 2 1 Cantharellus cibarius 3* 2 – – 1 Clavaria argillacea 7* 3 – – 2 Clitocybe clavipes 2 10* 7 6 7 Clitocybe dealbata — 18 9 9 7† Clitocybe flaccida 1 2 4 6*† 2 Clitocybe infundibulif — 1 5 6*† 5 Clitocybe langei 3 4 8 7 8 Clitocybe nebularis — 5 7 7 8*† Clitocybe odora — 3 3 3 2 Clitocybe rivulosa 1 6 3 2 2 Clitocybe vibecina — 2 4 8* 5 Collybia butyracea 3 1 7* 6†† 4 Collybia confluens 1 1 2 3* 2† Collybia dryophila 2 5 9* 7 7††† Collybia maculata 9 8 10*† 6 5 Collybia peronata — 9* 7 5† 6 Coltricia perennis 8* 7 1 4 2 Conocybe tenera 1 2 5* 5* 4 Coprinus atramentarius — 4* 3 1 1 Coprinus comatus — 10* 4 1 — Coprinus disseminatus 1 1 1 3 5* Coprinus micaceus — 4 2 2 3 Coprinus plicatilis — 4 7 8 4† Coriolus versicolor 4 3 6 3 6 Cortinarius obtusus — — 3 4 4† Crepidotus variabilis — 2 1 1 4* Cystoderma amiantinum 8 9 10* 7 8† Fomes annosus 4 5 4 3 5 Galerina hypnorum 2 8 10 9† 9

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 51 (2015)

Total Ecology Tree records

36 21 24 14 5 10 13 27 25 16 9 16 8 9 10 11 19 6 12 32 43 15 17 30 27 11 14 19 21 9 30 38 27 22 17 9 15 11 11 23 22 11 8 42 21 38

myc myc myc myc wood grass myc myc myc myc myc myc myc myc myc myc wood myc sapr litter grass litter litter litter litter litter grass litter litter litter litter litter litter earth grass grass grass wood wood sapr wood myc wood grass wood moss

b>p p b p>b>bi b

Mean Date date of range record from 15Oct

-1.7 -1.4 -3.1 -2.6 +3.8 +0.2 larch -5.3 p -1.4 p -2.8 mixed -5.0 pb -4.6 larch -2.8 mixed -3.5 mixed -6.0 bi -3.6 mixed -3.5 conif -1.6 pine -6.2 heather +0.4 bp +0.1 +0.2 bp +0.5 mixed +1.0 bp -0.5 b +1.0 b -3.3 -2.9 b &c -0.5 b &c -0.6 b &c -0.9 b &c +0.5 p &c -0.7 b -1.4 b p &c -2.8 +1.8 -4.0 -2.3 various 0.0 bp -0.9 b grass -0.1 various +1.3 b>p +3.3 various +2.0 +0.5 p -0.8 -0.2

-16 18 -14 11 -16 9 -12 9 -5 9 -16 18 -16 9 -14 19 -16 9 -16 8 -14 1 -14 9 -12 6 -12 2 -8 2 -10 6 -12 18 -16 -2 -7 19 -12 18 -16 18 -14 18 -16 18 -16 9 -14 18 -16 9 -14 9 -16 11 -16 8 -8 8 -16 18 -16 19 -16 18 -16 9 -9 9 -14 9 -12 9 -10 11 -16 18 -14 18 -14 19 -10 18 -10 11 -16 19 -14 18 -16 18


BRANDON PARK FUNGI 1959—2014 MONITORING BAT BOXES IN THETFORD FOREST Years 59— 71

Geaster triplex Geoglossum sp Gomphidius rutilus Gymnopilus penet (sap) Hebeloma crustuliniforme Hebeloma sinapizans Helvella crispa Hygrophoropsis aurant Hygrophorus conicus Hygrophorus hypothejus Hygrophorus niveus Hygrophorus psittacinus Hygrophorus virgineus Hypholoma fasciculare Inocybe fastigiata Inocybe lilacina Inocybe griseolilacina Laccaria amethystina Laccaria laccata Lactarius blennius Lactarius deliciosus Lactarius rufus Lactarius subdulcis Lactarius tabidus Lactarius turpis Lepiota cristata Lepiota friesii Lepiota procera Lepiota rhachodes Lycoperdon excipulifor Lycoperdon perlatum Marasmius oreades Marasmius wynneæ Melanoleuca melaleucum Mycena ætites Mycena alcalina Mycena epipterygia Mycena pseudopura Mycena pura Oudemansiella radicata Paxillus atrotomentosus Paxillus involutus Phallus impudicus Polyporus betulinus Polystictus abietinus Ramaria stricta

73— 84

85— 94

95— 04

05— 14

— 4* 5 7 —

8* 3 9* 6 2

5 2 1 7† 2

6† — 2 9 6*†

6 — 1 8 6*†

24 9 17 37 16

litter b grass myc p>larch wood p myc b

-0.3 -0.8 -1.0 +0.6 -1.8

-16 -7 -12 -16 -16

1 1 5 1 4* — — 3 10 2 — — 3 7 — 1 8* 1 3 7* — — 1 2 — 2 1 — 2

1 6 5* 3* — — 2 5 9 2 1 — 8 3 9* 6* 6 2 1 4 9* 1 2 1 1 5 6 — 6

1 2 8* 3 3† 4 2 — 2 — 2 2 1 2 8* 4 7 10††† — 2 2 2† 1 5* 6 6 3 7 8† 7 1 — 6 1 5 2 1 3 3 2 6 8† 1 3 2 2 2 2 6 3 8† 9*† 3 4 1 2† 5 4

4* 5 2 — — 3 1 1 9†† 4* 5* 4 7 7 4†† 4 3 5 1 2 4 4* 4* 1 — 7 6* 2 5

9 23 19 6 6 7 6 21 45 10 10 10 30 27 28 12 24 15 9 18 27 9 11 10 10 31 20 5 22

myc b &c litter b myc pine grass grass grass grass grass wood p myc bp myc b myc b>yew myc bp myc various myc b>>p myc p myc p myc various myc various myc b birch litter various litter various litt grass various litt grass various litt grass various litt grass b grass grass grass litter b &c litt grass various

+1.8 -0.4 -2.1 -2.5 +1.0 +6.6 -2.5 -0.2 -0.3 +0.3 +1.6 -2.7 -0.9 +0.5 -2.1 0.0 -1.0 +1.7 +0.7 -4.1 -2.1 -3.1 -4.9 -0.9 -2.3 -0.3 -1.2 -1.4 +0.7

-12 11 -14 18 -12 8 -10 6 -3 8 +1 11 -14 5 -14 9 -16 19 -16 19 -16 18 -16 9 -16 18 -16 19 -16 9 -16 18 -16 19 -16 18 -8 9 -16 9 -16 9 -12 11 -16 7 -12 9 -14 7 -16 11 -16 11 -18 9 -16 18

1 — 3 1 1 1 5* 8 1 3 6 2

— 1 5 — 7 3 4 9†† 9* 7 5 5*

3 3 4 1 9 7 4 8 3 3 4 —

2 5* 5 3 8†† 1 1 4 1 7 6 2

11 11 20 9 34 16 15 34 16 25 30 9

grass litt wood various grass ? litt grass b rootwood b wood p myc p>heath litter p wood birch wood p wood various

-2.2 +0.7 +1.4 -2.0 -0.5 -2.7 -3.5 -1.9 -3.9 -0.7 +0.2 -1.1

-14 9 -16 18 -9 18 -10 9 -16 18 -16 8 -10 7 -16 11 -16 7 -16 18 -10 11 -12 18

5* 2 3† 4* 9† 4 1 5 2 5 9* —

Total Ecology Tree records

31 Mean Date date of range record from 15Oct 11 8 18 19 11

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 51 (2015)


32

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 51 Years 59— 71

Russula atropurpurea Russula fragilis Russula mairei Russula ochroleuca Scleroderma aurantium Stereum hirsutum Stereum rugosum Stropharia æruginosa Thelephora terrestris Tricholoma nudum Tricholoma sulphureum Tricholoma terreum Tricholomopsis rutilans Tubaria furfuracea Xylaria hypoxylon

1 2 — 8 2 5 — 4 7* — 2 5 9* — 4

73— 84

4 1 6 10† 4 5 — 10 3 4 7 6 7 — 4

85— 94

95— 04

05— 14

7 5 2 5* 6 7 10††† 8†††† — 1 7* 1 3 4* 6 8 2 5 2 2 4 6 4 7 2 3 1 3 7 4

6 1 6† 8† 5 5 3 8 2 3 8† 3 — 5* 8*

Total Ecology Tree records

23 11 25 44 12 23 11 36 19 11 27 25 21 9 27

myc p &c myc pine &c myc b myc b>p>bir myc,wd b, p wood oak,b>p wood oak grass,wd grass myc,wd p &c litter b>oak myc b>p myc b p wood p various wood various

Mean Date date of range record from 15Oct -0.7 -1.5 -0.7 -1.5 -0.6 -0.1 +2.3 -1.3 -0.6 +0.3 -2.5 -3.2 -3.0 +4.2 +2.3

-16 -14 -16 -16 -10 -14 -8 -16 -10 -12 -16 -16 -12 -10 -16

18 9 18 19 9 11 9 18 19 11 18 9 9 18 18

Neil Mahler has kindly reviewed the nomenclature used in this paper; some of the names are different to those in current usage so the following table of synonymy will help match species listed with modern literature. Synonym

Current name

Synonym

Current name

Armillaria mucida Bolbitius vitellinus Boletus aeruginascens Boletus bovinus Boletus elegans Boletus granulatus Boletus luteus Boletus scaber Clitocybe clavipes

Oudemansiella mucida Bolbitius titubans Suillus aeruginascens Suillus bovinus Suillus grevillea Suillus granulatus Suillus luteus Leccinum scabrum Ampulloclitocybe clavipes Lepista flaccida Clitocybe vibecina Rhodocollybia butyracea Gymnopus confluens Gymnopus dryophilus Rhodocollybia maculata Gymnopus peronatus Coprinopsis atramentaria Coprinellus disseminatus Coprinellus micaceus

Coprinus plicatilis Coriolus versicolor Fomes annosus

Parasola plicatilis Trametes versicolor Heterobasidium annosum Hygrocybe conica Hygrocybe virginea Gliophorus psittacinus Hygrocybe virginea Echinoderma asperum Macrolepiota procera Macrolepiota rhacodes Melanoleuca melaleuca Mycena pura Xerula radicata

Clitocybe flaccida Clitocybe langei Collybia butyracea Collybia confluens Collybia dryophila Collybia maculata Collybia peronata Coprinus atramentarius Coprinus disseminatus Coprinus micaceus

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 51 (2015)

Hygrophorus conicus Hygrophorus nivea Hygrophorus psittacinus Hygrophorus virginea Lepiota friesii Lepiota procera Lepiota rhacodes Melanoleuca melaleucum Mycena pseudopura Oudmansiella radicata Paxillus atrotomentosus Polyporus betulinus Polystictus abietinus Russula mairei Tricholoma nudum

Tapinella atrotomentosa Piptoporus betulinus Trichaptum abietinum Russula nobilis Lepista nuda


W. Dossett O. Rackham

O. Rackham

Plate 13: The late Oliver Rackham recording fungi at Brandon Country Park, 2 Nov. 2013. (p. 26).

Plate 14: Jersey Cow Mushroom or bovine bolete Suillus bovinus. (p. 27).

Plate 15: Sulphur Knight or Gas agaric Tricholoma sulphureum. (p. 28).

Brandon Park Fungi 1959-2014  

Oliver Rackham

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