The Reference Culture Collection at the Center for Forest Mycology Research maintains a mycological herbarium with more than 70,000 preserved specimens, collected since the mid-1800s. The culture collection contains more than 12,000 living isolates of 1,500 species. Details for the entire culture collection and about 25,000 herbarium specimens have been entered into a database to aid information search and retrieval. CFMR scientists and researchers from around the world use the collections to test hypotheses of distribution, relatedness, and biological activity of forest fungi.
The Center also leads critical research on the biology of tropical fungi native to Hawaii, U.S. territories in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and to other countries in the Caribbean Basin. The primary goals of this research are to: (1) recognize emerging tropical forest diseases, especially those with the potential to spread to the continental U.S. and (2) identify the effects of environmental change on the distributions of beneficial and harmful forest fungi.