December 22, 2007

Morels Growing On Wood?

I ran across an item in the Burlington, Iowa Hawk Eye today that confused me a bit. I should stipulate right off the bat that I don't know much about Morchella spp. and have never found a single morel myself. Still, it was my understanding that morels where generally mycorrhizal; this article seems to be saying that at least some of them are saprotrophs.

Frosty fungus pops up in cemetery

...Patrick O'Malley, a commercial horticulture field specialist at the Iowa State University Extension Center in Iowa City, wasn't very surprised to hear about the mushrooms.

"Anytime you have high humidity in the late fall or early winter, you'll find morel mushrooms," he said. "You would mostly find them growing on wood. They don't produce well on the ground..."
Is this an error of some kind, or are there morels that grow on decaying wood? If the latter, could some kind mycologist please fill me in on which species do so?

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