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Scientist Finds New Species of Wood-inhabiting Fungi From Belize, Venezuela, and Réunion

Photo of Microscopic characters of Epithele ceracea, a newly discovered wood-decay fungus from Belize and Venezuela. Karen Nakasone, USDA Forest ServiceMicroscopic characters of Epithele ceracea, a newly discovered wood-decay fungus from Belize and Venezuela. Karen Nakasone, USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : Most wood-inhabiting fungi are essential to sustain healthy forests and biodiversity but a few cause serious diseases. Forest Service mycologists are part of the scientific effort to identify new species. Understanding fungal taxonomy, which indicates the relationship of species, is a powerful predictive tool for evaluating beneficial and potential threats from forest fungi.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Nakasone, Karen K.  
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2013
Highlight ID : 473

Summary

Worldwide, many wood-inhabiting fungi have not yet been described and classified. Many of these fungi have the ability to degrade or breakdown wood. Although essential for healthy forests, some decomposing fungal species may pose a serious threat of forest disease. The genus Epithele was known to consist of 17 species worldwide. As part of the scientific effort to identify new fungi, a Forest Service scientist found four new species: E. belizensis from Belize, E. ceracea from Belize and Venezuela, E. reunionis from Réunion, and E. ryvardenii from Venezuela. Conserving biodiversity is a global concern, as is the threat posed by invasive species. Evaluating positive beneficial and potential threats from these and related fungi begins with their identification and classification.

Additional Resources

Taxonomy of Epithele (Polyporales, Basidiomycota)(publication)

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