Lost & Found Fungi – project report, January 2015
New and interesting records
New and interesting records of British fungi are now listed in table form on the project website: http://fungi.myspecies.info/content/survey-diary-full-version. All are invited to send reports of notable species from their area. The most recent exciting find of which we are aware is an undescribed species of Asteromassaria from VC2 E Cornwall, recognized as new on New Year’s Day 2015 from a collection originally made by Ken Preston-Mafham on Christmas Day 2013.
Draft target list
The initial target “Top 100” list has now been compiled, selected from a long-list of nearly 400 potential target species put together by Martyn Ainsworth. Comments are invited on the list, and suggestions for additional species are still welcomed. You can find the list at http://fungi.myspecies.info/content/lost-found-fungi-draft-target-list, clicking on the link to download the PDF. We are still completing the compilation of some of the ancillary information, so please do not treat the document as set in stone.
A field programme will be established shortly to search for each species in partnership with local groups. A full set of species accounts will now be prepared, including images, descriptions, notes on ecology and habitat, along with a historical site list. Initial priority will be given to fungi fruiting early in the year.
The target list contains a wide range of fungi, from reasonably well-known macrofungi for which monitoring is required, to challenging micro-species and a selection of specialist fungi such as rusts. Lichens are also included. Funds are available to support field work by local groups and to purchase small items of equipment needed for identification. Further details will come soon.
40 new species-level accounts have been added to the Fungi of Great Britain and Ireland since the beginning of November 2014, along with treatments and keys for several genera. Use the search facility at the top right-hand of the website, travel down the taxonomic hierarchy under the “All fungi” tab or look for the alphabetical lists of lichens and non-lichenized fungi. A host list is now available from the home page, and a Plant Health section has recently been established to contain information on pathogenic fungi.
We’re delighted that Brian Douglas has agreed to join the Lost & Found project team. His role will be to compile species dossiers, coordinating field activities and verifying voucher specimens along with the rest of the Kew mycology group. He’s recently completed his PhD from the University of Aberystwyth with Gareth Griffith as supervisor, and is an expert on inoperculate discomycetes.
A second project staff member will be employed later in the year to process specimens and help with identification; his/her job description still needs to be finalized after Kew’s science restructure.