non-professional contributions to mycology research projects:
summary of responses (I).
jmurphy at FMNH785.FMNH.ORG
Mon Apr 8 17:04:09 EST 1996
Dear fellow mycologists;
The following is a summary of the response to my query of 22 April
(subject: "non-professional contributions to mycology research project"). I
am positive that this is <not> a complete list of all the nonprofessional
contributions to research projects involving fungal biodiversity
inventories, but it's a good start. Perhaps this submission will motivate
others to add their projects to this list.
Thanks very much to all the responders!! Much of the prose below
belongs to them, but I have edited the responses and take responsibility for
all typographic errors. Apologies for the absence of diacritical marks
(umlauts, etc.) as I am not familiar enough with my email software to
IN NORTH AMERICA
Saylor, H., P. Vergeer, D. Desjardin, and T. Duffy (my copy does not
contain the publication year) California Mushrooms 1970-1980. This is a
list of the mushrooms listed from ten years of forays by the Mycological
Society of San Francisco. According to D. Desjardin, he and the MSSF are
considering a formal myco-biotic inventory of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Rick Bortnick and Laura Weishaupt inform me that they are initiating
a long term floristic survey of fungi in the Kisatchie National Forest, with
the cooperation of the US Forest Service. Laura's comments are interesting
and deserve quotation in length; "We have been at this for 1 1/2 years.
We've got about 600 records and about 212 IDs made. We do this by ourselves
with layers of motivation between us. I think in many ways I typify a lot of
amature mycologists out there. We know our own backyard. We spend a lot of
time in it. Each season that goes by we know more. We are members of NAMA,
Texas Myco. Soc., and Gulf States Myco. Soc.. We go to meetings in the
adjacent states to get help on IDs, or at times find that the "purple thing"
hasn't been described yet. That happens a lot down here. What we are doing
is laying foundation for future work. I'd like to see information amassed by
Texas Myco. Soc., Gulf States Myco. Soc., and Arkansas Myco. Soc. combined
to form a regional atlas of fungi. We are right in the middle of it all.
This kind of work would be a major contribution to mycological research,
mostly carried out by amateurs."
Ron Trial and Moselio Schaechter summarized a long and detailed set of
records kept by the Boston Mycological Club from 1966 to 1983 in the
following article: Schaechter, M. and R. Trial (1995). The Occurrence of
Mushrooms in the Neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts from 1966, to 1983.
The Oregon Mycological Society (not "Association" as I previously stated)
has a continuing study of the impact of harvest and trampling on production
of Cantharellus cibarius. Preliminary analyses are presented in Loving the
Chanterelle to Death? The Ten-year Oregon Chanterelle Project. Norvell,
L., 1995. McIlvainea 12(1): 6-25. According to Norvell, "the study has
been a labor-intensive one, made possible only by the hard work of 65
volunteers who have thus far spent 4200 man-hours ... and donated both
materials and equipment to the study."
Another Pacific Northwestern study is "A Preliminary report of the fungi of
Barlow Pass, Washington" in McIlvainea 11: 10-33. 1994. J. Amaretto, S.
Ammirati, L. Norvell, T. O=92Dell, M. Puccio, M. Seidl, G. Walker, The Puget
Sound Mycological Society, S. Redhead, J. Ginns, H. Burdsall, T. Volk, and
K. Nakasone. =20
From the concluding remarks: "the importance of this combination,
professional and amateur mycologists working together, can not be
overemphasized. It is the key to dealing with fungus inventories and
surveys, studies of species richness and diversity, rare and endangered
species and projects related to commercial mushroom harvesting."
I have second-hand information that the US Forest Service has been
doing a study on matsutake in central Oregon, and has been obtaining data
from both commercial and non-commercial mushroom hunters.
Regis Courtecuisse reports on the National Program for Inventory and
Mapping the Mycota (all fungal species). This program concerns the whole
french mycological community, which is, of course, mainly made of amateurs.
Most of the mycological societies in France take part in the program and the
total number of dedicated participants is probably above 250 persons. Some
representative publications follow:
Bull.Soc.Mycol.Fr. 107(4):161-203 -1992(1991)
Fungi of Europe - investigation, recording and mapping (Kew Congress):5-12
A red data list in Nord -Pas-de-Calais area of (Northern France) is planned
A formal inventory of the fungi known in France is hoped for 1997. The
mapping program is running more slowly but some areas have completed maps
for many species. Results will be published later.
Dr. Courtecuisse concludes, "So, to summarize under the scope of your
question, amateur mycologists in France are extremely involved in official
programs, the above-cited one being the most important. A smaller program is
now funded. It concerns the european RENECOFOR program"=20
Dr. Norbert Luschka sends the following:
In Germany non-professional groups are working together with professionals
since the 1970's in several mapping projects. In West Germany this had been
managed by the "Deutsche Gesellschaft f=FCr Mykologie" (DGfM, German Society
for Mycology) a society of mycologists of any kind. The first results are
the two volumes of the "Verbreitungsatlas der Gro=DFpilze Deutschlands" in
1991 and 1993 with about 5500 maps of large fungal species in Germany. This
project continues as an ecological mapping on EDV-basis, now for the whole
In East Germany the non-professional mycologists were organized in local
groups of the so-called "Kulturbund". After the political changes a lot of
these groups have reorganised as mycological groups within the NABU
(Naturschutzbund =3D private organisation for natural protection). These
groups have mapped East Germany starting at about the same time as in the
west. There have been about a hundred maps published of fungi in East
Germany and this is continuing. Many of these groups now participate in the
DGfM-projekt. Representative publications follow:
Krieglsteiner G.J. (1991): Verbreitungsatlas der Gro pilze Deutschlands
(West). Band 1: St=E4nderpilze, Parts A: Nichtbl=E4tterpilze + B:=
- Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart, p. 1016. ISBN 3-8001-3318-0
Krieglsteiner G.J. (1993): Verbreitungsatlas der Gro pilze Deutschlands
(West). Band 2: Schlauchpilze. - Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart, p. 596. ISBN
David Minter of the International Mycological Institute contributes the
The British Mycological Society has had a database of fungus records since
1986 (Bulletin British Mycological Soiety v20, pp34-38, Minter, 1986) which
contains records submitted by amateurs from the organised forays of the
society. This now contains 50,000 records. An addition to this data-set has
come from a successful grant application to the Joint Nature Conservation
Council of the UK to fund a literature survey of all published UK records
(mainly amateurs) into a corresponding database. This project is nearing
There has also been a mapping scheme in place for slightly longer. This has
resulted in the production of distribution maps of myxomycetes (published
separately) and gasteromycetes (published in 'British Puffballs, Earthstars
and Stinkhorns' - Pegler, Laessoe, Spooner, Kew, 1995). In addition a whole
series of distribution maps for various groups of fungi will be appearing
this year as part of the contributions to the centenary publications of the
society. All the data coming from amateur collectors.
On a county level amateurs in the UK have contributed to a number of
regional 'floras' (A Fungus Flora of Warwickshire, ed M C Clark, BMS, 1980;
A Fungus Flora of Yorkshire, W G Bramley, 1985). The BMS now also has a
number of 'local recording groups' some of whom maintain databases
containing many thousands of records. On the conservation front there is a
recent initiative by local groups to carry out a grassland-fungi survey
which is one of our more endangered habitats.
On a more local level there has been the considerable amount of input into
recording the fungal biota of Slapton Ley nature reserve in South Devon
which is now probably the most intensively studied mycological site in the
world. This and other local intensive surveys by amateurs in the UK will
also be published this year as part of the centenary publications (by
Hawksworth et al).
More information about the British Mycological Society's Centenary Symposia
can be obtained at : http://www.ulst.ac.uk/faculty/science/bms/cSymsBMS
Much of the data used by E. Arnolds in his influential publications
concerning the decline of fungi in the Netherlands (for instance, E.
Arnolds, 1991, Decline of ectomycorrhizal fungi in Europe. Agriculture,
Ecosystems and Environment 35: 209-244) was obtained from foray lists.
"Fungi of Switzerland" series is authored by J. Breitenbach and F. Kranzlin
with collaboration from the Mycological Society of Lucerne. From the
introduction to Vol. I by G. J. Krieglsteiner, - "With this book (the
authors) provide an ideal example of what a regional society of motivated
amateurs can accomplish, despite many difficulties, quantitative as well as
qualitative, when people do not merely indulge in finding things
occasionally and by chance but work systematically pand persistently." In
Vol. II., W. Julich writes " this new volume shows...how great the
accomplishment of a group of interested and enthusiastic amateurs can be."=
Dr. John (Jack) Murphy (JMURPHY at fmppr.fmnh.org)
Dept. of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History
Chicago, IL 60605-2496
(312) 922-9410 ext. 722
fax (312) 427-2530
More information about the Mycology