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SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022 
The Jellylike Black Urn - Plectania melastoma - by Christy Horsley

This summer has been great for fungal community science as we’re seeing increased representation in the media (1; 2). Coming up next week, some of us at Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS) will assist in expanding community science initiatives at this year’s North American Mycological Association (NAMA) annual foray in Potosi, Missouri.

We have quite a few announcements to share in this Newsletter. Just in time for making fungal collections at NAMA's annual foray, we have created Advanced Field Data Slips. Thank you to designer extraordinaire, Tiffany Theden. We are also thrilled to share a new community science video: How to Collect Macrofungal Specimens for Scientific Research, a collaboration between North American Mycological Association and Fungal Diversity Survey. Thank you to Sam Rogers for his video editing magic. As FunDiS encourages more people to observe and collect fungi, we also provide the tools and resources to help create high quality observations and collections that can be useful for research and conservation.

Thank you to the anonymous donors who have supported us with $1,000 donations throughout the summer. Your support truly matters as we develop our fungal conservation programs.

As we look towards autumn, we are excited to work with a new Program Lead, a position that we have developed thanks to a small grant received from the Roy A. Hunt Foundation.
 
Lastly, I would like to welcome our newest board member, Lauryn Hart. She has written a small introduction below, but I would like to share that we are grateful to receive Lauryn's dedication. Having been a volunteer with us since late winter, she's already been a wonderful addition to our discussions and myceliation. Welcome, Lauryn!

Please enjoy reading our updates brought to you by our phenomenal FunDiS team.

spores
Gabriela D’Elia
FunDiS Director
Northern Utah Funga Project Leader

Lauryn Hart
FunDiS's Newest Board Member

"For the past fifteen years, I have worked in various aspects of supply chains from sales to IT. My recent work has been to slow climate change and biodiversity loss by helping to scale and optimize alternative meat companies.

I’m thrilled to partner with FunDiS to help conserve fungi.  Fungi are key to protecting biodiversity as they function as the chief decomposers in ecosystems. Through fungal conservation, we enable protections for the multitude of relationships they and other species rely on.

As I pursue my doctorate in Ecological Psychology, I hope to bridge ethical and inclusive insights with my business experience so that we can cultivate unique solutions as we expand our reach. "

A mysterious unknown fungus found in Alaska by Christin Swearingen

Consider showing your appreciation for FunDiS and make a donation today!
We are very grateful for your support as we develop our conservation programs and work towards transitioning to paid staff.

DONATE NOW

Rare Fungi Challenges (video) by Sigrid Jakob from the 2022 Mycological Society of America (MSA) meeting in Gainesville, FL. This presentation gets into the numbers and discoveries this conservation project has seen since its start in 2020. (View slides.) Thank you to MSA for sharing permissions.


The Fungal Diversity Survey: Community Science and Species Discovery (video begins at 56:20) by Bitty Roy, D. Jean Lodge, Jeff Stallman, and Jack Johnson, from the 2022 Mycological Society of America (MSA) meeting in Gainesville, FL. This presentation gets into the DNA analysis of FunDiS sequences during 2018-2022 (View slides)Thank you to MSA for sharing permissions.
















How to Collect Macrofungal Specimens
for Scientific Research (video; 9:09)


Presented by North American Mycological Association and Fungal Diversity Survey 
Edited by: Sam Rogers

 

 

Now available - the Advanced FunDiS Field Data Slip!

Free and downloadable, like our Beginner Field Data Slips released in the springtime, this design is a level up for those mushroomers who want to record comprehensive metadata like specimen measurements, soil description, and insect presence.

There are 3 different format options -- 2 slips on a sheet (that you fold), double-sided with random generated # IDs (4 to a page), or double-sided with blank ID #s (4 to a page).
 

The Purplish-Red Bolete - Boletus purpureorubellus -  by Keara Giannotti

New Paper Published on AI-Based Fungi Recognition

Overview of FungiCLEF 2022: Fungi Recognition as an Open Set Classification Problem (Picek et al., 2022)

The FungiCLEF 2022 Competition provides an evaluation ground for automatic methods for fungi recognition using images and metadata – information about habitat, substrate, location, and more.

 

FunDiS On the Mushroom Hour Podcast

Sigrid Jakob discusses NYC Mycology, Community Science, FunDiS, Greenwood Cemetery, & DIY DNA Sequencing on the Mushroom Hour Podcast (July 1, 2022). [Editor's note: This episode was recorded awhile back, so some details about FunDiS are outdated.]

 

Fungus Named After Else C. Vellinga

Pluteus vellingae has been named after mycologist and FunDiS Conservation Working Group Member Else C. Vellinga, collector of the holotype collection, in recognition of her exceptional contributions to mycology.  Congratulations, Else! [Source]

Pluteus vellingae draped in spider webs by Josh Walker

Red-green Truffle Milky found in South Lake Tahoe, CA!

Tyler Mann reports a new find of the incredibly elusive Lactarius rubriviridis in South Lake Tahoe, California.

“I am an avid mushroom forager, so one of my coworkers brought this specimen into work to ask me what it was that his dog had been digging up in his backyard in South Lake Tahoe.

I brought it home and found that it wasn't in any of my ID books so I posted online on a Facebook group to see if anyone knew what it was.

The following day, while I was at work, I saw that several people thought it was Lactarius rubriviridus, a rare species. I called my girlfriend to tell her, and she told me that our dog had taken it off of the counter and chewed it into pieces.


So, it was both discovered and destroyed by dogs.”

Read the rest of the story on iNaturalist.

The Red-green Truffle Milky - Lactarius rubriviridis - by Tyler Mann
The Northeast Rare 20 Fungi Challenge is cooking along! We've had 10 new records come in this year since July with Calliderma (Entoloma) indigofera again leading the pack! Five records of this beautiful blue mushroom have been observed on the iNat project page, four of which were collected by a single individual! These are sporadically common, fairly large Entolomas that occur in Atlantic White-Cedar swamps

Second in frequency of occurrence is another species that has been found in central to southern New Jersey, Boletus purpureorubellus. Three records have come in for this species, two of which were collected by one individual in a single preserve in the New Jersey pine barrens.

Two other species have also come in within the last month with a single record of Butryiboletus billieae, a gorgeous, reticulate-stalked buttery bolete found near Hartford and the unmistakable, eccentrically stalked Pseudofistulina radicata being found in Somerset County, PA. Both were readily recognized by their collectors.

Finally, within just the last two days a series of photos of Squamanita has come in from near Portland, Maine. Since S. umbonata has now been split up into three new species by Saar, Thorne, et al 2022 (see Mycologia Vol. 114 Issue 4), we can no longer use umbonata as an epithet. Nonetheless this exciting find provides just the second recent collection of this species complex in the Northeast.

This brings the total number of observations of these rare 20 NE fungi to 194, with 50 observations since the "soft launch" in June 2021. We now have half (10) of the species with recent records. With all of the recent rains in the Northeast it is very likely we will get more this season!

Check out the project on iNaturalist for more details!

Rick Van de Poll
Northeast Rare Fungi Challenge Mycologist
 
Pachyphlodes sp. -  by Harte Singer

We’d like to spotlight our FunDiS Biodiversity Database top Identifier. John Plischke III has ID’d the most species in our database: a prolific 2,300 species. He has also contributed a whopping 11,351 observations to our database, making him second in the running behind Hua Fang, who we highlighted in our May-June 2022 Newsletter. John is a founding member of the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club, which has become one of the largest mushroom clubs in the US. Some of his other credentials include being a life member of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA), trustee for Northeast Mycology Federation (NEMF), and recipient of the prestigious Harry and Elsie Knighton Award.

John actively promotes community science and FunDiS tools like our West Coast Rare Fungi Challenge pamphlets or our Field Data Slips. We are grateful that we live in the time of John, who not only doles out IDs on iNaturalist, but also avidly dispenses community science knowledge like comparing PCR settings, DNA testing equipment options, and iNaturalist know-how. John is enthusiastic about sharing that you can easily find exciting fungi, many of which are new to science and make a difference. He also shares that perhaps the most important fungi to work on are the ones left on the table that can’t be identified and would otherwise get thrown away.

Thank you, John!

FunDiS Director Gabriela D’Elia and Biodiversity Database leading identifier John Plischke III at the ID tables of the 2022 Clark Rogerson Annual Foray with the Connecticut Westchester Mycological Association (COMA).

The sequencing department has been busy getting the most recent batch of sequences uploaded to the public database, NCBI GenBank, using some fancy new tools devised by volunteer Hayden Johnson. Using Python, the software allows us to easily reformat data so it can be uploaded much more efficiently. Incredible thanks to our team of hard-working volunteers who spent countless hours validating the data that was generated during the sequencing process. The task involves editing the raw data files, comparing the data against all of the other sequences in GenBank using a tool called BLAST, and then looking through the literature to hone in on a possible identity. We must also coordinate with project leaders and mycologists on community science platforms like iNaturalist and Mushroom Observer to make sure there is agreement on what name we should give a particular fungus, or if it might be something completely new. 

Our next effort is taking all that data and making some nice visualizations from it so we can showcase the incredible diversity that FunDiS's sequencing adventures have uncovered. While a good portion of our sequences come back matching known fungi, there are still many that do not match anything in any public database. It will take time to figure out if they represent species that are new to science, but adding them to the public knowledge is important work either way. Looking ahead, we are putting the pieces in place to offer sequencing to mushroom clubs in line with the arrival of the rainy season in California, so stay tuned for some exciting announcements!
 

Harte Singer
FunDiS Sequencing Lead

Isaiah Bednash
Sequencing 
Committee

Isaiah is an interdisciplinary educator and farmer. As Head of Mycology for pHreedom pHarmaceuticals, he seeks to combine cutting edge science with transparency and accessibility. He is a member of the Mycological Association of Washington DC Fungal DNA sequencing committee.

The Western Yellow-veiled Amanita - Amanita augusta - by Mandy Hackney
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Fungal Diversity Survey's mission is to protect biodiversity through the conservation of fungi and their habitats by increasing knowledge and public awareness of their diversity and distribution, equipping and engaging community scientists, and partnering with land managers, conservationists, and scientists.

Contact Fungal Diversity Survey

Newsletter Editor: Michael Pace
Newsletter Designer: Tiffany Theden
Send newsletter ideas and feedback to
 newsletter@fundis.org

Copyright © 2022 Fungal Diversity Survey, All rights reserved.


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