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Fungi & citizen science

Published 28 May 2016 by Timothy Brown

Just how little we know about fungi. Only half of known fungi have scientific names, we’re discovering new species all the time and still have lots to learn about the distribution of common species.

With the ever increasing effects of climate change, it’s important to get baseline data on fungi while we can.

There’s not enough time or enough mycologists for them to get it all done alone, so ‘citizen scientists’ have a very important role to play in helping to collect this data.

Maybe one day we’ll be able to identify fungi hot spots for targeted conservation, but for now we have reserves Liffey River in the fungi-rich wet Tasmanian forests.

With help from NRM North and Fungi map we were able to host a fungi field day on our Liffey River Reserve on the 18th May 2016.

Fungi map brought experienced mycologists Dr Tom May and Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher to walk, kneel, record and talk with a group of interested public – young and old.

Many had been photographing, collecting and drawing fungi and sending in their information to Fungi map.

For more information on how you can get involved in your neck of the woods go to Fungimap.org.au, or if you’d like to stroll around the Liffey River Reserve circuit while the fungi is busy – come anytime.

Chanterelles. Photo Tim Brown. Chanterelles. Photo Tim Brown.
You dont need to go far before you're stopping again when looking at fungi in Tasmania. Photo Tim Brown. You dont need to go far before you're stopping again when looking at fungi in Tasmania. Photo Tim Brown.
Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher explains. Photo Tim Brown. Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher explains. Photo Tim Brown.
A page from a member of the public's fungi notes from their property in northern Tasmania. Photo Tim Brown. A page from a member of the public's fungi notes from their property in northern Tasmania. Photo Tim Brown.
Jelly fungus. Photo Tim Brown. Jelly fungus. Photo Tim Brown.
Mycena interrupta. Photo Tim Brown. Mycena interrupta. Photo Tim Brown.
Purple jelly fungus. Photo Tim Brown. Purple jelly fungus. Photo Tim Brown.
Scarlet bracket fungus. Photo Tim Brown. Scarlet bracket fungus. Photo Tim Brown.
Scleroderma after releasing spores. Photo Tim Brown. Scleroderma after releasing spores. Photo Tim Brown.
Scleroderma sp. Photo Tim Brown. Scleroderma sp. Photo Tim Brown.

Antrodiella zonata. Photo Tim Brown. Antrodiella zonata. Photo Tim Brown.
Pleurotus sp. Photo Tim Brown. Pleurotus sp. Photo Tim Brown.
Marasmius angina. Photo Tim Brown. Marasmius angina. Photo Tim Brown.
Giant mycena sp. Photo Tim Brown. Giant mycena sp. Photo Tim Brown.
Chanterelles. Photo Tim Brown. Chanterelles. Photo Tim Brown.
You dont need to go far before you're stopping again when looking at fungi in Tasmania. Photo Tim Brown. You dont need to go far before you're stopping again when looking at fungi in Tasmania. Photo Tim Brown.
Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher explains. Photo Tim Brown. Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher explains. Photo Tim Brown.
A page from a member of the public's fungi notes from their property in northern Tasmania. Photo Tim Brown. A page from a member of the public's fungi notes from their property in northern Tasmania. Photo Tim Brown.
Jelly fungus. Photo Tim Brown. Jelly fungus. Photo Tim Brown.
Mycena interrupta. Photo Tim Brown. Mycena interrupta. Photo Tim Brown.
Purple jelly fungus. Photo Tim Brown. Purple jelly fungus. Photo Tim Brown.
Scarlet bracket fungus. Photo Tim Brown. Scarlet bracket fungus. Photo Tim Brown.
Scleroderma after releasing spores. Photo Tim Brown. Scleroderma after releasing spores. Photo Tim Brown.
Scleroderma sp. Photo Tim Brown. Scleroderma sp. Photo Tim Brown.

Antrodiella zonata. Photo Tim Brown. Antrodiella zonata. Photo Tim Brown.
Pleurotus sp. Photo Tim Brown. Pleurotus sp. Photo Tim Brown.
Marasmius angina. Photo Tim Brown. Marasmius angina. Photo Tim Brown.
Giant mycena sp. Photo Tim Brown. Giant mycena sp. Photo Tim Brown.

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Just how little we know about fungi. Only half of known fungi have scientific names, we're discovering new species all the time and still have lots to learn about the distribution of common species. The Public also has an important role to play, as we learnt at a recent Fungi day at Liffey River.

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