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Alder Tongue Fungus

Close-up shot of the tongue fungus and the alder cone.

Alder Tongue Fungus

The alder tongue fungus, at bottom left, growing out of an alder cone collected on Dundreggan in early April 2010.

Alder tongue fungus found at Dundreggan

At the beginning of April, one of our Conservation Holiday focalisers, who is also a keen amateur mycologist, found the alder tongue fungus (Taphrina alni) near our previous field base at Plodda Lodge. The following week, we also found it at Dundreggan, on an alder tree near the River Moriston, and both these finds are significant because there are only about a dozen records for this species in the Highlands of Scotland.

The fungus itself grows out of the ripening cones of alder trees, after the female flowers have been pollinated in the spring. Initially green in colour, it forms a gall that changes to orange and then dark brown, and becomes woody by the autumn. It takes the shape of a 'tongue', protruding out of the alder cone, and it will persist on the cones through to the following spring, when the cones fall off the tree as the new growth of spring occurs.

This fungus is relatively scarce in the UK, and these records from Dundreggan and near Plodda Lodge are being added to the UK fungal records database by Liz Holden, who has carried out several fungal surveys for us on Dundreggan.

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Pages about fungi on this site

Pages about Biodiversity on Dundreggan on this site

New discoveries in charity's 'Lost world' Highland Estate - 20th January 2012
Biodiversity News - April 2011
Rare and endangered species found in Highlands estate's "lost world" - 17th December 2010
Rare sawfly discovered for first time in UK - 5th November 2010
Biodiversity surveys and discoveries - October 2010
Biodiversity surveys at Dundreggan - May 2010
Alder tongue fungus found at Dundreggan (and near Plodda Lodge) - 15 April 2010
Biodiversity surveys identify over 50 key species on Highland Estate - 15th February 2010
Biodiversity discoveries - November 2009
Biodiversity surveys - August 2009
Surveys and biodiversity discoveries - November 2008
Reaping the results of our biodiversity surveys - May 2008
Dundreggan's diversity keeps growing! - November 2007
Biodiversity on Dundreggan - First impressions, August 2006
Biodiversity on Dundreggan

Pages about Dundreggan on this site

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