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Individual Highlight

Identifying Unusual or Poorly Known Decay Fungi

Photo of Basidiospores of Corticium murrillii stained with cotton blue. USDA Forest ServiceBasidiospores of Corticium murrillii stained with cotton blue. USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : Most wood inhabiting fungi are essential to sustain healthy forests and biodiversity, but a few cause serious diseases. Correctly identifying species and understanding their relatedness is a powerful predictive tool for evaluating beneficial and potential threats from forest fungi.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Nakasone, Karen K.  
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2015
Highlight ID : 884

Summary

Worldwide, many wood-inhabiting fungi have not yet been described and classified. Many of these fungi have the ability to degrade or break down wood. Although wood decomposition is essential for healthy forests, some fungal species pose a serious threat of forest disease. The biology and roles of many fungi associated with wood are largely unknown, thus their potential to cause disease is difficult to assess. Conserving biodiversity is a global concern as is the threat posed by invasive species. A Forest Service scientist studied eight poorly known or unusual wood-decay fungi from the Americas, Europe, Borneo, New Zealand, Reunion, and Russia and reconsidered their classification.. Evaluating positive beneficial and potential threats from these and related fungi begins with their identification and classification.

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