• Students at South Peak

    Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller

    National Historical Park Vermont

Mushrooms and Other Fungi

Dead Man's Fingers fungus

Dead Man's Fingers fungus (Xylaria polymorpha)

K Jones

While fungi, like mushrooms, may look like plants, they are distinct from both plants and animals by mode of nutrition. While animals ingest food and plants make their own through photosynthesis, fungus secrete enzymes to digest surrounding organic matter and then absorb the released nutrients. By decomposing dead or decaying organisms and recycling nutrients, fungi serve an important ecological function. Without this important component dead organisms in the park, like fallen trees, would take much longer to decompose and return their nutrients back into the ecosystem.

Did You Know?

Clouds stream over Inscription Rock, a large butte standing tall and proud in the New Mexican landscape. NPS Photo.

Conservationist George Perkins Marsh, for whom Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP is named, championed the creation of a US Army Camel Corps. On El Morro National Monument's Inscription Trail you can see the inscriptions the Camel Corps left behind in 1855.