ClueBot NG Report Interface

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[[File:Mushroom cap morphology2.png|thumb|right|Morphological characteristics of the caps of mushrooms]]
Identifying mushrooms requires a basic understanding of their [[macroscopic]] structure. Most are [[Basidiomycetes]] and gilled. Their spores, called [[basidiospore]]s, are produced on the gills and fall in a fine rain of powder from under the caps as a result. At the microscopic level the basidiospores are shot off [[basidia]] and then fall between the gills in the dead air space. As a result, for most mushrooms, if the cap is cut off and placed gill-side-down overnight, a powdery impression reflecting the shape of the gills (or pores, or spines, etc.) is formed (when the fruit body is sporulating). The color of the powdery print, called a [[spore print]], is used to help classify mushrooms and can help to identify them. Spore print colors include white (most common), brown, black, purple-brown, pink, yellow, and creamy, but almost never blue, green, or red.<ref name=Dickinson1982/>
While modern identification of mushrooms is quickly becoming molecular, the standard methods for identification are still used by most and have developed into a fine art harking back to [[medieval]] times and the [[Victorian era]], combined with microscopic examination. The presence of juices upon breaking, bruising reactions, odors, tastes, shades of color, habitat, habit, and season are all considered by both amateur and professional mycologists. Tasting and smelling mushrooms carries its own hazards because of poisons and [[allergens]]. Chemical [[Chemical test|tests]] are also used for some genera.<ref>Ammirati ''et al''., 1985, pp. 40–41.</ref>
In general, identification to [[genus]] can often be accomplished in the field using a local mushroom guide. Identification to [[species]], however, requires more effort; one must remember that a mushroom develops from a button stage into a mature structure, and only the latter can provide certain characteristics needed for the identification of the species. However, over-mature specimens lose features and cease producing spores. Many novices have mistaken humid water marks on paper for white spore prints, or discolored paper from oozing liquids on [[Lamella (mycology)|lamella]] edges for colored spored prints.
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