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Abstract Detail


Mueller, Gregory [1].

Engaging community scientists in collecting data for conservation assessments, the Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS).

Species of fungi are not immune to the threats that put species of animals and plants at risk: habitat loss, loss of symbiotic hosts, pollution, over exploitation, and climate change. Determining which species are thriving and which are rare or declining is crucial for targeting conservation action towards species in greatest need. However, the conservation status of the vast majority of fungal species has not been assessed either globally as part of the IUCN Red List or in the US and Canada with Nature Serve Rankings. This greatly hinders the inclusion of fungi in conservation discussions, access to funding programs, policy decisions, and conservation action; e.g., state DNR efforts, Nature Serve through state biodiversity heritage programs, and international initiatives. A significant challenge that has impeded progress in assessing fungi is that certain minimum information to predict the probability of a species going extinct are needed including data on geographic distribution of the species, an estimate of the population size of the species, information on the change in population size over time, and information on threats, and if possible, solutions to mitigate the threats. Thus, much of the data needed to assess a species extinction risk are observational - what occurs where and when, and are these patterns changing. This is where community scientists / amateur mycologists can, and are needed to help. There are just over 1000 members in the Mycological Society of America but over 10,000 members associated with NAMA affiliated clubs and other amateur fungal associations in the US and Canada. Additionally, 10s of thousands of additional individuals are posting images to iNaturalist and Mushroom Observer. The Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS) is developing tools, creating incentives, and providing coordination to engage these community scientists in generating data needed for conservation assessments and to advocate for conservation action.

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Related Links:
Fungal Diverstiy Survey
Global Fungal Red LIst Initiative

1 - Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, United States

Conservation assessments
amateur mycologists

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: MY1, Mycology: Ecology and Conservation
Location: /
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 1:15 PM(EDT)
Number: MY1009
Abstract ID:1067
Candidate for Awards:None

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