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fruiting bodies of Polyporus squamosus (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons


This is a large order of basidiomycete fungi with around 2,000 wood-decaying species. Many of them live on dead wood only. Several species are of concern because they degrade timber and wood products. Some are also plant pathogens, actively decaying wood of living trees and grapevines. The latter cause white rot and brown rot diseases. Economically, the genus Ganoderma contains the most important species.

Traditionally the classification of this group was based on morphological features like the shelf-like fruiting bodies and the spore bearing tubes. The taxonomy of the group is currently being re-assessed based on the DNA structure of its members.

The following genera and individual species are currently entered under this order: