?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

280 days of Urbpandemonium #59

 photo P1020771_zpshtaxsehe.jpg
The eastern subspecies of the Tree Octopus Octopus paxarbolis* turns out, under sober reflection, to be a fungus. Specifically, it is the gall of a fungus with an interesting two host life cycle. The gall overwinters as a woody knob on an eastern red cedar Juniperus virginiana** but when the warm spring rains come, out come the tentacles. The jelly protuberances release spores into the air, which can infect a number of plants in the rose family (including, for economically important reasons, apple treesMalus sp.***).

Once inside the second host, the cedar-apple rust Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae**** grows until it forms pustules on the leaves and fruit. Orange rust-like growths produce spores that then must infect a red cedar to continue the cycle. The fungus doesn't usually seriously harm it's hosts, but consumers don't like to buy hand fruit with pustules on them, I guess.

 photo P1020772_zpsdrwidg5p.jpg

* "Eight-footed Pacific Tree-dweller"

** "Virginia juniper"

*** "Apple" Jesus do I have to do everything?

**** "Naked spore vessel on eastern red cedar"

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
buboniclou
Jun. 7th, 2015 01:12 am (UTC)
So are the rust and the fungus the same thing? How does it get from the fruit back to the cedar?

Props for including the tree octopus page! I used that for my Information Literacy class to get them to parse the elements of a webpage that could make it trustworthy or not. An appalling number of them didn't catch on.
urbpan
Jun. 7th, 2015 11:32 am (UTC)
Yes they are the same organism, they travel between the two hosts via airborne spores.
wraithfodder
Jun. 9th, 2015 01:27 am (UTC)
I've seen that orange stuff on trees. Always thought it might be a fungus...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

dandelion
urbpan
The Urban Pantheist

Latest Month

December 2016
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Witold Riedel