Herring conservation report

CVN members will be interested in Dr. John Neilson’s report to Conservancy Hornby Island on the need to protect herring in our area. The report is titled “The Science Case for a Marine Protected Area in Lambert Channel: Conservation Benefits for Pacific Herring,” and you can download it here.

CTV Vancouver Island reported on this. You can see their video here.

The TV story gives equal time to the fishing industry which, of course, disputes the call for more protection. Read John’s report and judge for yourself.

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eDNA sampling project completed

From an email by Kelly to the Birding Group on November 23.

Today the last sample was taken from Courtenay Airpark Lagoon. All 17 weekly samples were shipped today to Guelph University for analysis.

The sampling team consisted of myself, Shirley C., Rick H., Gael A., Linda G. and Gordon S.. Well done team!

Some photos are attached. The last photo shows the filter disks. [Click a photo to enlarge it.]

For those hearing this for the first time, the samples are to assist Bettina Thalinger (University of Guelph) with her research for a method to identify bird species at remote sites.

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Toothed fungi, part 1

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on November 22.

Alison M. has put together an informative overview of some of the toothed fungi: hydnums and hydnellums.

[Click a photo to enlarge it.]

Alison’s notes

Well into November there are still gilled mushrooms popping up in the valley – species of the Inocybe genus and Stropharia tend to be among the later fungi in the sequence. I still have chanterelles appearing. This however is the time when some of the toothed fungi come into their own, fungi that have little spines (rather than gills) as the spore-bearing part of the mushroom.

So first the Hydnum genus – commonly known as the hedgehog. Hydnum is the Latinized from of Greek hudnon,   a word Theophrastus appears to use for “truffle”, so I am not entirely sure why it was chosen for the genus name. In the valley the smaller Hydnum umbilicatum  is common (photo #1 from Tsolum River Road) and also in the lower elevation areas over at Buttle Lake. Its name comes from  its depressed cap like a belly-button. Hydnum repandum (#s  2,3) has a paler, less regular cap, and is larger, growing up to 25 cm in diameter ( 3 times the size of  H. umbilicatum). It tends to grow at higher elevations. Photo #3 illustrates the spines. The dense flesh will tolerate several degrees of frost, and it is an  excellent edible (the little spines tend to come off in the cooking, and can be rubbed off in advance if you are concerned about aesthetics).

Next the Hydnellum genus – the formation of the name suggests a diminutive form of Hydnum (but as with the name hydnum itself the formation doesn’t entirely make sense to me). Jocie has already illustrated the best known Hydnellum peckii in its attractive early stage (#4), which  is often called strawberries and cream, cranberry scone or …, but although it looks inviting, it is extremely acrid. As it grows the coloured droplets disappear, the cap becoming wrinkled and folded, sometimes covered in a whitish hypomyces, sometimes with darker droplets merging to give the impression of a jam tart, and the spines on the underside develop (#s 5- 7). Eventually the cap becomes a dark brown, and it becomes like other members of the genus as they age. Other species include Hydnellum aurantiacum (orange- #s 8-9) , which also shows droplets, this time golden orange in its early stages, and H. careruleum (blue- #10), though in the latter case the blue/grey cap does not have obvious droplets. There are three further members of the genus noted in the SVIMS list which I have not yet found.

Finally, Pseudohydnum gelatinosum  = “jelly-like false hydnum”,  better known as cat’s tongue, or spirit gummy bear (#11). In the jelly fungi category, its teeth or spines make the naming obvious. You will find it commonly on dead logs or branches on the ground from late fall into winter in most of our forested areas in the valley.

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Winter chanterelles and blue-turning coral

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on November 21.

Photo 1 shows a harvest of winter chanterelles or yellow foot (Craterellus tubaeformis) from Kate. This is a smaller, more delicate species of chanterelle that often has a dimple in the middle of the cap. It is a good edible, if you can find it!

(1) Winter chanterelles

Photo 2 is a coral fungus (possibly one of the crested corals in the genus Clavulina) taken by Kyle from the Beaver Lodge lands. Note the strange blue-grey colour taking over the base. In one of my books (Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast) it says that Clavulina can be parasitized by a fungus called Helminthosphaeria clavariarum (isn’t that a mouthful?) which “distorts the fruiting body to a bluish gray to dark gray color.” That is my guess on what might be going on there, but if any of you have thoughts/suggestions on this let us know!

(2) Parasitized Clavulina ?
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