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Fungimap Inc. is a not-for-profit citizen science organisation dedicated to raising the profile of Australia's incredible fungal diversity. Our emphasis is on enjoying and learning about fungi, with a focus on macrofungi in the natural environment.

Fungimap eNews 29 - February 2020

Fire and Australian fungi

The bushfire crisis this summer in Australia has had an immense impact on many of our unique areas of ecological significance. We’ve all seen the harrowing images of our much-loved fauna suffering as a result of these unprecedented fires, with as many as 800 million animals estimated to have been killed in the fires since October. And despite good news such as the successful fight to save the Wollemi Pine, we’re now learning of the impact this disaster will have on our flora too, with 272 threatened plant species believed to be impacted, with 47 taxa losing more than 80% of their distribution to fire.
 

But what happens to our fungi in these fires? But what happens to our fungi in these fires? Many of Australia’s unique macrofungi grow in association with plant hosts, many of which will have been burnt. Others are a source of food to our native fauna and habitat for invertebrates. Some fungi actually only produce fruiting bodies in response to fire – Pyronema omphalodes responds to fire by firstly sending out a mycelium network often looking like orange fuzz. Read more on our blog

If you're in a fire-affected area and see a fungus please share it to the Environment Recovery Project: Australian Bushfires 2019-2020 and Fungimap Australia projects on iNaturalist. 

Image: Pyronema omphalodes is commonly seen after fire (Malcom McKinty)

Congratulations Sarah Lloyd

We were delighted to hear that long-standing Fungimap contributor and volunteer Sarah Lloyd was among the recipients of Australia Day Honours, receiving the Order of Australia medal in recognition of her service to conservation and the environment.

Sarah joined the Fungimap mapping scheme as Regional Coordinator for Tasmania (2004-2005) and served on the inaugural Management Committee of Fungimap Inc. (2005-2007). She was instrumental in organising a number of major events for Fungimap including the national conference in Tasmania at Gowrie Park in 2005 and a several day event at Weldborough (north-east Tasmania) in 2010 that showcased fungi of the Blue Tier. In addition, Sarah played key roles in organising a number of Fungimap expeditions to the Tarkine region (2005, 2006, 2012). Sarah has submitted numerous records to Fungimap and is one of the ten most prolific recorders.The accolade also comes as recognition her tireless work with the Central Northern Field Naturalists Club, Birdlife Australia and Land for Wildlife.

Image: Sarah Lloyd inspecting a slime mould in the field in Tasmania (Ron Nagorcka).

Call for Volunteers

After fungi, it’s people who matter most to us!  The support we get from volunteers means we can do more to spread the word about the importance of fungi and we know this makes a difference.

Our volunteers help people to identify fungi they see (a job for people with good knowledge about fungi) and they assist with running Fungimap’s office at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

Right now we can use some help with:

  • Administration tasks like mailing out books we sell, and processing membership and renewal notices
  • Communications – our monthly eNews, social media and annual newsletter
  • Managing our online shop orders
  • Bookkeeping (we use MYOB)
Does this sound like you? Please get in touch! 

Image: Cortinarius archeri, Richard Hartland CC-BY-SA

Focus on the rare

Lost Agarics

Fungi come in many shapes and sizes. Broadly speaking the gilled fungi or Agarics, widely known as ‘mushrooms and toadstools’ are very common, yet some species in this morphogroup are in fact very rare. Here are some profiles of likely rare and threatened mushroom-shaped fungi:

  • Green-gilled Amanitas – Amanita austroviridis group
  • Blue-grey Navel – Arrhenia aff. chlorocyanea
  • Grey Jockey – Asterophora mirabilis
  • Yellow Skinhead – Cortinarius canarius
  • Steel-blue Rozites – Cortinarius metallicus
  • Warrandyte Waxcap – Hygrocybe sp. ‘Warrandyte JCR2’
  • Sunrise Bonnet – Mycena roseoflava

There are more lost fungi profiles to check out for other fungi shapes and lichens.

Image: Green-gilled Amanitas (Amanita austroviridis group, Barry Lingham).

Second hope for the Stemless Earpick

 
Last year a second population of the Stemless Earpick was found, which at least doubles its chances of survival. It also gives us another population to monitor fruiting and habitat to increase understanding of this rare fungus. This species was recently added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is considered Endangered.

Image: Stemless Earpick (Auriscalpium sp. ‘Blackwood’, Reiner Richter).

Help find our red-listed fungi

In 2019, a number of fungi from Australasia had their conservation status assessed. These are fungi that warrant monitoring so we can understand if populations are increasing or decreasing.

Please help collect data on these species using iNaturalist or our Lost Fungi Biocollect project. We hope in time to develop profiles for these fungi but in the meantime some information about these species is available on these pages:

Image: The critically endangered Hypocreopsis amplectens Tea-tree Fingers. Tom May CC-BY-NC

Fungi Events

Fungus Forays, Workshops & Other Events with Alison Pouliot

 
Fungi are gradually working their way into our consciousness both within ecology and the arts and literature. This newfound awareness is inspiring not just their conservation but also imaginative representations of their being. Over the last two decades, ecologist and environmental photographer Alison Pouliot has been accompanying people through the bush to explore the so-called forgotten kingdom.

A range of fungus-themed events from forays to films to fungus festivals is on offer again this autumn. The full program is available at this link.

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria Fungi Group Meeting

 
Dr. Tom May – Australian Fungi: from Red Listing to on-ground action

Monday March 2 - 8pm
FNCV Hall, 1 Gardenia Street Blackburn, VIC 3130

A free event - see the FNCV events calendar for more information. 

A range of fungus-themed events from forays to films to fungus festivals is on offer again this autumn. The full program is available at this link.

Queensland Mycological Society - Residential Foray, Numinbah Valley

The Queensland Mycological Society is planning a residential foray from the 13th to 15th of March.

Location: Bornhoffen PCYC Camp in the Numinbah Valley

Cost: $85.00 for the weekend for members. (BYO linen and food.)

More details at the QMS website

In the Fungimap shop:
Fungi of the Bendigo Region

 

This book, written and published by Joy Clusker and Ray Wallace with beautiful photography by Joy, is a field guide to the fungi of the Bendigo region with an emphasis on the dryer areas north of Bendigo. It covers 284 species and a further ~200 yet to be identified.

Printed locally, it is designed to fit in a backpack and is available now for $25 + $5 shipping in the Fungimap shop.

 
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