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Amazon fungi FUNGI Amazon fungi

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Although fungi are not plants, they play just as important a part in the rainforest's ecology. Fungi break down dead plant matter, releasing the nutrients for use by live plants. (Hence they are called saprophytes, which means "plants that live off dead things".) Amazonian fungi come in a wide range of colors, sizes and textures. Although many fungi are edible, in general native Amazonians do not eat fungi. This may be because of the risk of accidentally eating a poisonous species, with potentially fatal consequences. Despite the ecological importance of fungi, they are in much need of more detailed scientific investigation. (Dr. Leif Ryvarden, University of Oslo, Norway, assisted with species identification.)

Click below for fungi photos and natural history information:

red fungus photo red fungus

oyster mushroom photo oyster mushroom

white fungus photo white fungus

gray fungus photo gray fungus

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