Water molds (see: Fungi) important to the cycling
of energy through aquatic ecosystems. The breakdown of leaf material
in the freestone river is highly dependent on this group of fungi. There
is a succession of species of hyphomycetes during the decaying process,
which may take the better part of a year. The progression of fungal
species onto the surface of a given leaf is specific to the species
of leaf being colonized, and probably specific to the place along the
gradient of the river, as well.