Ascospores (the brown, 4-celled oblong structures, approximately 30x10 microns) of Phaeosphaeria spartinocola, an ascomycete that is the major decomposer of smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, in salt marshes. The ascospores are shown emerging from their ascus (the transparent tube). Under natural circumstances in the salt marsh, the ascospores are forcibly shot out of decaying leaves into the air or tidal water. Photo from old ASLO slide collection; taken by S. Newell; background provided by S. Newell; scanned by K.L. Schulz.