Golf Course Ecology Visits - November 2021

12 November 2021 Ecology Bulletin

It’s here! It’s finally here…. fungi season has landed and landed with a thump it has.

Actually, fungi season is all year round, it’s just we see them when the environmental conditions a right for the fruiting body to appear – these are the brightly coloured fireworks you see on your golf course, usually in autumn; the fungi itself winds its way through your sub and top soils where it attaches itself to the grasses and takes nutrients from the products of photosynthesis (fungi can’t photosynthesise its own food so it takes it from anything that can such as a tree or grass). Now you may be thinking that it is a parasite, some are, but as a rule, the fungi in your course’s soils have a symbiotic relationship with the grass, and, as a result, grow together in harmony - the grass gives the fungi simple sugars and in return receives minerals that it cannot break down by itself, simple ecology that works a treat! Not only that, but fungi also eats its way through dead and decaying organic matter and recycles it back as usable material i.e. compost, or humus which is the desired end result of composting.

We need to save the bees, amongst many other flora and fauna, however, without fungi we’re in a whole heap of trouble as dead material will keep stacking up – imagine that.

Here are a few examples of the fruits of fungi from our golf courses. Take a look at this whomper from Knutsford GC. Or how about these from Crane Valley. As always, send in those wildlife images and questions and I’ll see if I can help.

Mushrooms at Crane Valley Golf Course
Mushrooms at Crane Valley Golf Course

 

Whomper from Knutsford Golf Course
Whomper from Knutsford Golf Course

 

Author

James Hutchinson
BIGGA | Membership Services Manager - Ecology

James Hutchinson is BIGGA’s Ecology and Sustainability expert.  With over 30 years greenkeeping and ecology experience, including two years at St Andrews Links Trust as their Environmental Officer, he is well placed to offer guidance and advice to BIGGA members

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