Ganoderma applanatum Laetiporus sulfureus


        Polypores are like boletes in that they have pores beneath the cap. However, the fruiting body of a bolete is soft and fleshy, whereas that of a polypore is usually tough, corky or woody. Moreover, in contrast to boletes, which grow on the ground, most polypores occur on decaying wood. This reflects a fundamental difference in their biology. Most polypores are decomposers of woody debris on the forest floor, but an appreciable number occur as root–and heart–rots on living trees, and a few are mycorrhizal. In contrast, virtually all boletes form mycorrhizal relationships with forest trees. Interestingly, some polypores have had a role in traditional medicine, especially in Asia.

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