Muskeg Earth Tongue (Geoglossaceae)

I am not so good at identifying fungi, but earth tongues seem relatively easy to identify to family (Geoglossaceae) and maybe even genus, but after that things get quite a bit more challenging. These were seen in a patch of muskeg that is a little different then most of what I see around here. Perhaps it is closer to the rich fen side of things. The most obvious differences to me are nagoonberries (not cloudberries) and stunted spruce (instead of stunted pine). Regardless, while I’ve found earth tongues a couple of different times before, this was the first time growing in a muskeg. If I’m lucky, maybe that will help narrow down the choices.

A UK fungus site intro to earth tongues says that as a group they favor nutrient poor sites, including sphagnum, sand dunes, and lawns (which apparently can be nutrient poor?). The other locations I’ve found them include a patch of more or less bare sand/gravel (it was kept mostly bare on account of being part of a trail), and a couple of different lawns around town.
Questions:

  • What species are these (and are they different from the others I’ve found in different habitats)?
  • What ecological role do they have? (are they decomposers?)
  • What prevents them from being able to do well in nutrient rich sites?

About matt goff

I am an aspiring naturalist who seeks to learn all that I can about the more-than-human aspects of this place that is my home.

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