The conservation biology of fungi
Roberts, David L. , Pringle, Anne .
Lessons Learned from Efforts in Plant Conservation.
Following the 2002 World Summit in Johannesburg, the Convention on Biological Diversity called for a decrease in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. However, a 2003 UK Royal Society report on “Measuring Biodiversity for Conservation” discussed the unavailability of satisfactory measures of biodiversity, and the difficulty of reporting accurately on the loss of biodiversity by 2010. With possibly a million species of fungi, the conservation of the world’s mycological diversity may seem daunting. However, the mycological community can learn much from previous and current conservation attempts and strategies in the botanical world. Current conservation priorities are guided more by raw estimates of diversity, rather than by any measure of how quickly that diversity is being lost. These measures of diversity are purely based on numbers of species and therefore require spatially explicit data of species existence. Once collected, these data can be used to identify biodiversity hotspots and produce IUCN Red List assessments; the latter being one of the most influential measure of conservation status and one which governments are more likely to at least take some notice of. However, whether we are interested in the conservation of a single species, producing maps of fungal biodiversity or habitat-based conservation, we need to know that a specific species existed in a specific location. With current advances in high-throughput sequencing, it is not the potential number of species that need to be conserved that is daunting, rather it is identifying the taxonomic unit.
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1 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, UK
2 - Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 16 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA
IUCN Red List
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Ballroom 3/Cliff Lodge - Level B
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 3:45 PM