Lapham Peak Fungi

Did you know there are over 12,000 species of fungi in Wisconsin? Many types can be found in Lapham Peak. You should never touch or eat any mushroom unless you are an experienced mycologist (someone who works with fungi such as molds, yeast and mushrooms.)

You might like to know the names of some fungus that you come across in your travels throughout the park. Some common mushrooms that exist in this area are morels, puffballs, honey button, lobster, pheasant back, artist conk, chanterelle, oyster, bolete, hen of the woods, chicken of the woods, sulphur shelf, and shaggy mane. Some are edible but unless you are an experienced mycologist you should never touch or eat any mushroom you find in nature.

Fungi play an important role in an ecosystem. They play a major part in the carbon cycle through the soil food web. Many fungi are decomposers. Decomposers cycle carbon from litter and dead plant material. Other types of fungi are parasitic and get their food from living plants and organisms.

One way fungi reproduce is through the spreading of spores. Spores can be transported by wind, water or insects. Mycologists also use spore prints to determine what type of mushroom they have found.