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Geopyxis carbonaria
Photo of Geopyxis carbonaria. Credit: Tom Bruns.

Geopyxis carbonaria (Alb. & Schwein.) Sacc. is a member of the family Pyronemataceae. Its delicate stalked cup-like fruiting bodies with white margins are the basis of its common name: pixie cup. It commonly fruits in the spring in post-fire forest settings where it can be one of most abundant fruiters. Its gene content is of interest for several reasons. As with other post-fire fungi, it is likely to have unique abilities to tolerate post-fire chemistry or to digest partially burned materials, and it may also help stabilize soils and preserve site productivity in highly disturbed post-fire environments. Although it is saprotrophic in the post-fire environment, it has been reported to be ectomycorrhizal with the Pinaceae in the prefire forests (Vrålstad et al., 1998). Further information and references can be found on its Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geopyxis_carbonaria).

References

Vrålstad T, Holst-Jensen A, Schumacher T (1998). "The postfire discomycete Geopyxis carbonaria (Ascomycota) is a biotrophic root associate with Norway spruce (Picea abies) in nature". Molecular Ecology. 7 (5): 609–616.