Hustad, Vincent P. , Miller, Andrew N. .
Biodiversity of discomycetes (Fungi: Ascomycota) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (USA).
Discomycetes represent one of the largest groups of terrestrial fungi, but are among the most poorly understood due to their small size, ephemeral nature, and lack of understanding at even the higher taxonomic ranks. These organisms are known to occur throughout all geographical areas on herbaceous and woody plant material where they play an essential role in nutrient cycling and the decomposition of organic matter. This preliminary study represents the first intensive survey of discomycete diversity within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), an International Biosphere Reserve and a region of exceptional biodiversity. Discomycetes were collected from several areas within the GSMNP during the summer of 2008 and compared with known records of fungi from the park. Over 70% of the encountered discomycete taxa represented new park records. Preliminary diversity analyses indicate that a large number of new park records are likely to be found, as well as species new to science. Taxonomic keys and rapid identification guides of discomycete taxa of eastern North America will be constructed. Phylogenetic analyses of collected taxa are ongoing to more accurately determine taxonomic identities and to facilitate further analysis of discomycete diversity within the GSMNP and the rest of the world.
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1 - University of Illinois, Plant Biology, 265 Morrill Hall, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL, 61801, USA
2 - University of Illinois, Illinois Natural History Survey, 1816 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL, 61820, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for BSA Sections
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM