The Polyporales are an order of about 1800 species of fungi in the division Basidiomycota. The order includes some (but not all) polypores as well as many corticioid fungi and a few agarics (mainly in the genus Lentinus). Many species within the order are saprotrophic, most of them wood-rotters. Some genera, such as Ganoderma and Fomes, contain species that attack living tissues and then continue to degrade the wood of their dead hosts. Those of economic importance include several important pathogens of forest and amenity trees and a few species that cause damage by rotting structural timber. Some of the Polyporales are commercially cultivated and marketed for use as food items or in traditional Chinese medicine.
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