The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation is raising funds to protect and old forest with as much bracket fungus as possible. The Foundation is particularly hoping to find the Bracket Fungus Forest in Southern Finland. The purpose of this campaign is to act as a reminder of the fact that bracket fungus plays a major role in maintaining the biodiversity and contributing to the regeneration of forests. More than two hundred different species of bracket fungi, or polypores, can be found in Finland’s forests, and most of these grow on trees. The visible parts of the bracket fungi are their fruiting bodies. The perennial mycelium lives its own rich life out of sight inside the tree.
Bracket fungi are wood-rotting fungi which turn dead, organic wood into its inorganic form. Bracket fungi start the long wood rotting process, during which different species come and go and the forest is regenerated. Eventually the fungus will break down the tree substance to a form which acts as a nutrient-rich medium for plants to grow.
Many bracket fungi are very specific about where they grow, and they may need their habitat to be a forest that is as untouched as possible. In nature inventories, bracket fungi are therefore used to identify old forests with high conservation value. Some species of bracket fungus only live on old, close-grained trees which have previously been rotted by some other species of bracket fungus that used to live on the tree’s surface.
The Bracket Fungus Forest Fundraiser was launched in November 2022, and it will be running for two years. You can participate in the fundraiser by transferring a donation to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation’s donation account:
– Enter Luonnonperintösäätiö as recipient
– Transfer the sum of your choice to the donation account FI78 5494 0950 0224 93
– Use the reference number 210748
You can also contact the Foundation with offers of or tips on a forest that might be suitable as the Bracket Fungus Forest.
(Photo: Niina Pitkänen)