Fungal Diversity Survey Updates￼
Fungal Diversity Survey Updates
Else C. Vellinga (firstname.lastname@example.org; MSA liaison with amateur mycologists) and Gabriela D’Elia (email@example.com)
Fungal Diversity Survey (aka FunDiS) started 2022 with a new leadership team: Ken Buegeleisen is the new President of the Board, taking over this role from Bill Sheehan, and Gabriela D’Elia is Director. Both are well connected to their local mycological clubs. Ken is Treasurer for the Sonoma County Mycological Association in California as well as Treasurer for FunDiS. Gabriela is Vice President of the Mushroom Society of Utah.
FunDiS is the successor of the North American Mycoflora Project initiated by Stephen Russell and Bill Sheehan after a successful, inspirational workshop at the 2017 MSA meeting in Athens, Georgia.
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. FunDiS envisions a world in which the fungal kingdom is fully documented, understood, appreciated, and protected.
To reach those goals, FunDiS is actively increasing awareness of rare species and building a vetted database of North American mushroom observations.
Two Rare Fungi Challenges have been initiated. The West Coast Rare Fungi Challenge has been running since October 2020 and mobilizes mycophiles to search for 20 species that are rare, threatened, or under-documented (https://fundis.org/images/WestCoastRare10/WC_Rare_Fungi_Challenge_poster_small.pdf). FunDiS’ second challenge, the Northeast Rare Fungi Challenge, also has a list of 20 species to target, and is set to officially launch in summer 2022. The lists of species and what to do when you find any of these rare taxa can be found at https://fundis.org/protect.
The FunDiS Biodiversity Database documents high-quality fungal observations as a project on iNaturalist.org. Distribution, habitat, and abundance data are critical pieces of information for assessing the threat status of a species. To learn more about making observations that qualify for this database go to https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fundis-biodiversity-database.
FunDiS’ programs benefit greatly from the input of mycologists who are well versed in specific taxa or in the fungi of a particular region. There are a variety of ways to contribute, from adding your observations to the Biodiversity Database, identifying mushrooms from observations on iNaturalist, to spreading the word about our Rare Fungi Challenges. Please reach out to Gabriela at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to help FunDiS move towards its goal of conserving fungi and their habitats across North America. Your help is greatly needed and welcome!
We all benefit from a world where fungi are recognized as essential!