Key to the Ecological Roles of Fungi<< Start Over
Is the wood dead or alive?
Dead

Fungi growing on dead wood are usually contributing to its rot. They are therefore Saprobes (although sometimes a Parasite will continue rotting the wood of a dead tree that it helped kill).

Alive

Fungi growing on live wood are usually Parasites, weakening the tree or sometimes killing it.

Exceptions : very small fungi on a tree's bark are often Saprobes that harmlessly digest dead bark tissue.

 
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