Fistulina hepatica and the Oak, a study into the morphologic

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hamadryad
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Fistulina hepatica and the Oak, a study into the morphologic

Post by hamadryad » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:23 pm

Hi all, i am embarking on a rather ambitious project and you guys all seem very science minded and hence i am asking for a little advice!

Now, first off I guess I should start by saying that I have no education via recognised routes (I consider that an advantage in Out of the box thinking) and therefore have no real idea how to get started other than the obvious route of finding a mentor and getting their approval for application for a PHD.

I obviously dont want to badger my mentor constantly for info and advise but am currently trying to piece together the survey record sheets and methodology to gather a data set for this study, which will take "heart rots in general into the work, as opposed to just the one of greatest interest. Now I shall tell you all a little bit about my theory and make it as easy as possible to give me advice on how I might go about proving or rather disproving my hypothesis.

I dont mind if you think this total rubbish, you wouldnt be the first! but can assure you i have studied this phenomena "the body language of decays" for many many years, and I am going to prove it one way or another, as youll see in time!


This image shows an Oak with fistulina hepatica, the trunk is a lumpy warty old beast, I believe that fistulina hepatica is one of the longest co evolved of the oaks decay fungi and that fistulina has evolved to coerce growth in the cambium of living trees in order to maintain both its hosts life span AND thus its own source of habitat and longevity.
windsor pip 1115.JPG
The body language associated with other principal basidiomycetes is VERY different altogether, with this example showing Inonotus dryadeus and the fluted discontinuous trunk also a common theme.
Hatfield forest 21 8 2010 024.JPG
Some of the growths of oaks colonised by fistulina are so extreme it is almost obscene!
sherwood forest ATF 080.JPG
So any ideas regarding not just survey methodology but also any ideas on the other aspects of proving the microbiology aspect?

your help is not expected this is a rather different investigation/study and cross disciplines but appreciate any comments or advice .

tony croft

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edfrank
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Re: Fistulina hepatica and the Oak, a study into the morphol

Post by edfrank » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:37 pm

Anthony,

Do you see expression of this type of malformation associated with the fungus in younger trees? What you need to include as part of the study is a series of cross-sections through the affected areas. This is not practical for the old growth trees, but if the same features were beginning to develop in trees being harvested for timber, then you could conceivable get cookies from them. Also there is potential for cookies from dead old growth trees, those blown down from wind, or even from fallen infected branches.

You can look at the surface with a reflective microscope or peal off thin slices with a plane that would be viewable under a regular microscope. One technique used at times to get very thin layers, at least of the basic structure of a large slab is as follows: Sand to a smooth surface - the smoother the more continuous the resulting sample. Soak the surface with acetone, and lay a sheet of acetate (drafting material) on top of it. The acetone will melt the acetate into the surface of the wood. When it dries after a few minutes the acetate sheet can be pulled up and will pull a thin layer of the wood surface up with it that is usable in a light transmission microscope.

Another thing you could do is take a series of stereo pairs of the features around the entire trunk There is software that will allow you to translate the stereo pairs into 3d-maps of the surface. I will try to find copies of the software or at least its name for you. The specifications for the stereo pair requirements will be dependent on the software. In any case stereo pairs should be made for documentation and for show-and-tell for the work.

Your premise is that the fungi has evolved as a parasite that feeds from the oak, but does not kill it, and the oak has evolved a specific response to the infection. I am not sure how to demonstrate that.

For the tree itself you should do all the standard data collection - species, general location, GPS location, girth, mutlitrunk or single trunk, description of the outgrowth including size and location on the tree, general health of the tree. And note any other fungi that are present and anything that seems even peripherally relevant to the tree and fungi relationship. Take more detailed photos of anything interesting or noteworthy of the particular growth, tree, or location.

Edward Frank

.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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edfrank
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Re: Fistulina hepatica and the Oak, a study into the morphol

Post by edfrank » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:04 pm

Here is someplace to start with the 3d-image stuff

Agisoft StereoScan - Agisoft StereoScan is an easy to use 3D modeling tool for automatic generation of textured 3D models from individual stereo pairs. The stereo pairs are not required to be calibrated or aligned, and can be captured by hand from any generic positions http://www.agisoft.ru/products/stereoscan/ There is both a free version and a demo version of the full program Also available here: http://download.cnet.com/Agisoft-Stereo ... ag=mncol;8 and here: http://download.cnet.com/Agisoft-Stereo ... ag=mncol;9

Article link: Surface Modelling of Plants from Stereo Images http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1299176 You could email one of the authors and get a copy of the article. You could reference it in your report if nothing else.

A fully functional 30 day version of Topcon’s Imagemaster Pro and the Camera Calibration Software (Imagemaster Calib) is available. http://www.terrageomatics.com/products/

.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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edfrank
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Re: Fistulina hepatica and the Oak, a study into the morphol

Post by edfrank » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:10 pm

You of course, would want to figure out some way to describe and categorize these growths. A uniform terminology as much as possible for various expressions, and see if you can divide the growths into different form groups that may or may not eventually be found to be meaningful.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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edfrank
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Re: Fistulina hepatica and the Oak, a study into the morphol

Post by edfrank » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:42 pm

Bumping the topic so it is read again.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

anthony.j.mills
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Re: Fistulina hepatica and the Oak, a study into the morphol

Post by anthony.j.mills » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:05 pm

Mr. Frank, thanks very much for your replies to Tony Croft. When he first mentioned this thesis to me some time ago, it struck me as one of those ideas which, as soon as the relationship is pointed out, one thinks is so intuitively obvious that it's a wonder no-one saw it before. Though it takes the eye of someone with a deep understanding and clear reading of tree body language, and their relationships with fungi, unconstrained by conventional interpretations, to achieve such an insight. The problem is proving it... I would think myself that investigation of the biochemical basis of the modification of cell growth patterns by the fungus, in the same way that gall wasps modify the growth of acorns, buds and twigs, might be a useful way forward. We know that fungi are masters of the use of enzymes in the exploitation of their hosts, and this could be a variation on that theme, albeit a mutually beneficial symbiotic one. Tony deserves every credit and support for pursuing this thesis. I regret that I have no idea where or how such a biochemical mechanism or relationship could be researched and demonstrated.

hamadryad
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Re: Fistulina hepatica and the Oak, a study into the morphol

Post by hamadryad » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:06 am

Thanks Edward and Anthony, I had trouble locating the thread to see if replies had come in but managed to see such through the Ents Magazine. Which continues to display my photos as front covers! & always gives me a sense of pride!

Its funny you mentioning this three D modelling Edward, i mentioned this to my mentor sometime ago as I knew Steve Sillet had done something similar with the redwoods. It will be a very valuable addition to the paper, and many thanks for this input, it is highly valued. i shall go through the links etc as soon as possible.

I also noticed the effects and body language in an image you posted on facebook a while ago Edward, of a large Q lelutina, I wonder if anyone in the states would like to take part in gathering some survey info to include in the paper? with due credit of course. i think having some datat from other Quercus sp and from a different land mass will add depth and robustness to the work.

Again, many many thanks for the replies and input, you guys are the best!


tony

That is ANTONY without an H! as in Cleopatra and Antony!

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