A Chicago-area woodland may support as many as 300 species of macro-fungi (or mushrooms, brackets, and other readily visible fungi). They may be decomposers and recyclers of wood, leaf litter, and other organic matter, mycorrhizal symbionts with tree roots, or parasites. Edible mushrooms are found in each of these categories.
During this program, Patrick Leacock, a mycologist at the Field Museum of Natural History, discusses the types of macro-fungi found in the Chicago area. For over 14 years he has cataloged these fungi and has studied them in relation to woodland restoration after prescribed burns, the impacts of nitrogen pollution, and habitat diversity. He is creating a checklist of over a thousand fungi found in the region, which can accessed here: http://www.mycoguide.com/.