The Pleosporales is estimated to contain 23 families, 332 genera and more than 4700 species. The majority of species are saprobes on decaying plant material in fresh water, marine, or terrestrial environments, but several species are also associated with living plants as parasites, epiphytes or endophytes. Epiphytes are non-parasitic plants that grow on trees or other plants, like orchids and bromeliads in tropical environments. Temperate zone epiphytes include a variety of lichens, liverworts, mosses and ferns. Endophytes are fungi (or bacteria) that live within host plants. Many appear to enable plants to survive stress caused by drought, insects and grazing herbivores. Only one example is depicted here, Apiosorina morbosa, which tends to infect cherry trees. Click on the image below to see enlarged photos of this member of the Venturiaceae family.