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Why do bigger mushrooms tend to come in later flushes?

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#1 Severian



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Posted 25 October 2022 - 05:37 PM

Now having actually got technique down enough to see subs producing past first and second flush, it does seem that each progressive flush has on average, larger mushrooms

Though also, so far, on average, less mushrooms too

Why? Why ? Why?

Is this strain dependent? Cubensis dependent?

I feel like it's related to nutrition / stress somehow but ive no real idea

I'm working with golden teacher now-
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#2 Moonless



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Posted 25 October 2022 - 08:16 PM

Hello Severian!


Great question! I have noticed this too and can clearly remember two instances from my last grow: PES Hawaii and Taman Negara. The large specimens from the first was definitely smaller than the last flush for the PES while the TN was more consistent but did express this trend.

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#3 Juthro


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Posted 25 October 2022 - 08:38 PM

I'm not sure why it happens that way, but later flushes often push larger fruit, where earlier flushes tend to push out a greater quantity of smaller fruit.   At least in my limited experience.   It's not like a hard and fast rule, but it happens too often to be a fluke. 

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#4 IllicitMango



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Posted 16 November 2022 - 11:35 PM

Now I'm only taking a wild guess here, but maybe it has something to do with "reproduction/furthering its species"
And maybe something also to do with energy?

I'm "thinking" maybe in earlier flushes, they/ the colony has more energy to make more fruits, but smaller.. but maybe it helps so they can take up a bigger area to drop spores and then maybe in the later flushes there's not as much energy to produce as many so they focus it on bigger ones as a last resort to still be to get the spores out into the air to spread further than where previous flushes were able to reach to?

Definitely a good question and something to think about.

But really, I have no idea lol and just rambling. Maybe I'm completely wrong and that'd be ok too :) but to me, it seems plausible. I'm leaning into the reproduction side as most things want to survive and produce future generations.
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#5 Moonless



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Posted 17 November 2022 - 07:54 PM

Nice theory, IllicitMango I liked how you used an evolutionary lens there. A variable in the equation (to answer this question) would be natural grown vs cultivated. It would be cool to see a wild cubensis colony growing so I could compare it to my home grown.

#6 JanSteen



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Posted 18 November 2022 - 07:34 AM

I think this has to do with the organism as a colony whole, and genetic regulation of all those different nuclei.

In the first flush, there's a multitude of cells set to fruit, but not all of them. So signalling can be dualistic in the sense that half of the organism/colony is signalling to fruit, whereas the other half is not.

After the first flush, most of the organism/colony has caught up on the signalling and all lights go green - in the entire organism - to fruit; energy and water are invested more heavily and the mushrooms come out heavier and larger.


I hypothesize that that is the reason.


Another reason would be to probe for the right conditions; if a bunch of minor investment mushrooms don't grow out to spread their spores due to environmental issues, the whole colony can keep probing with small flushes (and low investment) until the conditions are perfect for larger fruits. Some slime molds behave like this when scavenging for food: they send out multiple branches to look for food and if one of them finds it, they'll invest heavily in those branches and retract/kill the ones that found nothing. I don't know if mushrooms have a similar feedback system, but we could test this at home if we're willing to sacrifice a couple cakes.


The benefits of that fruiting behavior could provide an evolutionary advantage and thus be "set in stone" after hundreds of generations. Usually in evolution, things tend to work that way and don't rule out one another. Trees for instance don't get taller to spread their seeds further, but the trees that did grow taller a couple hundred million years ago, just had an evolutionary advantage over the smaller ones. That's why dwarf plant populations are usually limited to a small area and trees like pines have a world wide distribution.


At least, that's my take on it and I could be entirely wrong about it.

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