Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
  In the mangrove forest proper

A large number of obligate marine fungi thrive on mangrove wood, pneumatophores and submerged mangrove leaf litter. While the majority belong to the Ascomycotina, some belong to the Basidiomycotina and the Oomycotina. The Ascomycotina and Basidiomycotina are lignolytic, while the Oomycotina are 'sugar fungi' and are among the first to colonise freshly fallen leaves with their residual sugars.

magnified close-up of fruiting body
Cross-section of
fruit body in
wood tissue,
with spores
A few of these marine fungi form fruiting bodies large enough to be seen with a good hand-lens, such as Halocyphina villosa, Hypoxylon oceanicum, Verruculina enalia, Nia vibrissa, Antennospora quadricornuta, Lulworthia spp. and also Aigialus parvus.

Unfortunately, most marine fungi are microscopic, and are best observed after incubating some mangrove twigs in a laboratory. The fruiting bodies and their spores can then be observed under the microscope.
Halocyphina villosa is a marine Basidiomycotina common on mangrove substrata. Tends to form large numbers of small, whitish and more or less globose fruiting bodies that can be seen with the naked eye or with a hand-lens. A large number of tiny basidiospores can be seen under the microscope when the fruiting body is squashed.
magnified close-up of fruiting bodies
Halocyphina villosa
Verruculina enalia, a marine Ascomycotina consists of black and carbonaceous fruiting bodies on branches and twigs at both low and high water marks. It is one of the most dominant marine fungi to colonise woody mangrove substrata. When the fruiting bodies are squashed, a large number of elongated asci (spore sacs) each containing 8 brown ascospores can be observed.
magnified close-up of fruiting body
Verruculina enalia
Lutworthia sp. is a marine Ascomycotina usually associated with leafy mangrove substrata. Other species have been observed on submerged and marine driftwood. The black membraneous fruiting bodies are oval or lens-shaped, and can be seen dotting an infected grass or leaf blade. Ascospores are filamentous and packed 8 to an ascus.
magnified close-up of fruiting body
Lulworthia sp.

About fungi above the tide line.
What is mangrove?

The Ecosystem


Indirect uses
Potential uses

About Mangroves
in Singapore

Mangroves to visit
From "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore", Peter K. L. Ng and N. Sivasothi (editors)
Volume 1: The Ecosystem and Plant Diversity and Volume 2: Animal Diversity
Authors: Kelvin K. P. Lim, Dennis H. Murphy, T. Morgany, N. Sivasothi, Peter K. L. Ng,
B. C. Soong, Hugh T. W. Tan, K. S. Tan & T. K. Tan
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre, sponsored by British Petroleum
2001 Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre