New mushroom species discovery in the Netherlands

Leucopaxillus paradoxus

The Dutch Mycological Society reports that on 9 November 2013 a fungus was found in the sand dunes near IJmuiden which was new for the Netherlands.

It belonged to the Leucopaxillus genus, but it was difficult to find out which species. Very probably, it is Leucopaxillus paradoxus var. paradoxus, but more research is still needed.

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New fungi discoveries in the Netherlands

This video says about itself:

A short description of Gyromitra esculenta, another false morel. This mushroom is still being eaten by some people who think it’s safe. It’s not!

The Dutch Mycological Society reports about research in the Horsterwold nature reserve in Flevoland province this spring.

Then, they found the rare mushroom species Gyromitra esculenta. It was the first time ever for Flevoland.

They also found Caloscypha fulgens; a fungus species, which, before this, had been known only from three spots in the Netherlands. Also a first for the province.

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Save British botanical gardens scientific work

This video is about Kew Gardens in London, England.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Campaign and petitions launched to save botanical garden jobs

Saturday 19th April 2014

London’s Kew and Wakehurst Place in Sussex are threatened by government cuts

A national campaign has been launched to save vital conservation and scientific work at two botanical gardens where 120 jobs are under threat.

General union GMB said on Thursday that jobs are under threat at Kew in London and Wakehurst Place in Sussex due to government cuts.

Kew Gardens is a world leader in its field with over 250 years experience, but has announced a £5 million deficit.

The campaign includes a petition and early day motion in Parliament.

Naturalist Sir David Attenborough is backing the campaign.

GMB regional officer Paul Grafton said “The aim is to save globally important conservation and science under threat.

“Never before has Kew faced such a significant threat to its future. It now needs public support to ensure its globally-important plant and fungal collections can continue to be used to support plant and fungal science and conservation around the world.”

The petition can be found here.


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Fungi, godwits and avocets

Meeslouwer lake, 23 February 2014

This photo shows the Meeslouwer lake, just north of Starrevaart nature reserve.

Today, 23 January 2014, to Starrevaart. In the pond next to the parking lot, gadwall ducks swimming.

A bit further, in the Meeslouwer lake: grey lag geese; coots; great cormorants sitting on poles.

Canada geese. Two little grebes. Tufted ducks.

Then, to the Starrevaart lake. Shelducks. A buzzard flying. Pheasants walking.

In woodland, fungi; the winter weather so far is mild. Scurvy twiglet mushrooms.

Witches' butter, 23 February 2014

On a fallen tree, witches’ butter.

A bit further, Coprinellus micaceus fungi. And Coprinus domesticus fungi. And Bjerkandera adusta.

Lesser celandine already flowering along a ditch, though spring still has to begin officially.

In the Starrevaart lake, scores of common pochards swimming. Behind them, over a thousand wigeons.

On the small island near the hide: many oystercatchers, scores of northern lapwings; and a few black-tailed godwits, just back from spring migration.

Oystercatchers and avocets flying away, Starrevaart, 23 February 2014

Every now and then, something scares the birds on the islet, and they fly away. On the photo, oystercatchers fly with two avocets, while wigeons swim.

Oystercatchers and godwits, Starrevaart, 23 February 2014

Most of the birds return to the island, if they think it was false alarm. On the photo oystercatchers, northern lapwings, and two black-tailed godwits; with a wigeon swimming in front of them.

Lapwings and godwits, 23 February 2014

Two male and one female goldeneyes swimming near the other side of the lake.

Shoveler, 23 February 2014

A male shoveler duck swims behind the islet.

Northern lapwing, 23 February 2014

A northern lapwing on top of a pole, with a row of wigeons underneath.

Northern lapwing, Starrevaart, 23 February 2014

Lapwings and wigeons gather as well on the rocks just east of the islet.

Lapwings and wigeons, 23 February 2014

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Rare mushrooms in Dutch winter

This video from the USA is about fungi.

The Dutch Mycological Society reports that this January, rare fungi were found in the Streekbos woodland in Noord-Holland province. They were Entoloma saundersii.

The winter weather this year so far is mild, which helps many fungi which would not survive freezing.

Entoloma saundersii is a rare, threatened species. It depends on elm trees, and many elm trees are dying from elm disease.

This map shows where this species lives in the Netherlands.

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Saving frogs from fungus disease

This video from the California Academy of Sciences in the USA says about itself:

Science Today: Stopping Chytrid, Saving Frogs

15 Jan 2014

Academy researchers are working to stop the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus to save amphibians.

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Fungi make rainforests diverse

This video says about itself:

Decay rules! Fungi are critical in the decomposition of deadwood and recycling of nutrients – watch this example from a Neotropical rainforest.

From Wildlife Extra:

Microscopic fungi is revealed as the crucial factor in regulating diversity in the world’s rainforests

An Oxford and Sheffield Universities joint research team has discovered that fungi regulate diversity in rainforests by making dominant species victims of their own success.

“In the plant world, close relatives make bad neighbours,” said Dr Owen Lewis of the Oxford University Department of Zoology. “Seedlings growing near plants of the same species are more likely to die, and we now know why. It has long been suspected that something in the soil was responsible, and we’ve now shown that fungi play a crucial role. It’s astonishing to see microscopic fungi having such a profound effect on entire rainforests.

Fungi prevent any single species from dominating rainforests as they spread more easily between plants and seedlings. If lots of plants from one species grow in the same place, fungi quickly cut their population down to size, levelling the playing field to give rarer species a fighting chance. Plots sprayed with fungicide soon become dominated by a few species at the expense of many others, leading to a marked drop in diversity.”

The study, published in Nature, looked at seedling plots across 36 sampling stations in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve in Belize. Researchers sprayed plots with either water, insecticide or fungicide every week for 17 months. They found that the fungicide dealt a significant blow to diversity, reducing the effective number of species by 16 per cent. While the insecticide did change the composition of surviving species, it did not have an overall impact on diversity.

“We expected that removal of both fungi and insects would have an effect on the tree species,” said Professor Rob Freckleton of Sheffield University. “However what was unexpected was that removal of the fungi affected diversity, but eliminating insects didn’t. Ours is the first study to unpick the effects of the different natural enemies.”

Scientists had suspected that fungus-like microorganisms called oomycetes might also play a part in policing rainforest diversity, but this now seems unlikely.

Oomycetes are potent pathogens that can cause seeds and seedlings to rot, and were responsible for the 1840s potato famine,” said Professor Sarah Gurr, formerly of Oxford University and now at the University of Exeter. “To see if they play a role in promoting rainforest biodiversity, we sprayed plots with Ridomil Gold, which protects plants against oomycetes. It had no significant effect on the number of surviving species, suggesting that true fungi and not oomycetes are driving rainforest diversity.”

“We suspect that the effect of fungi will be strongest in wetter, hotter areas because this is where they thrive,” said Dr Robert Bagchi, who began the study at Oxford and completed it at ETH Zurich. “This has important implications for how rainforests will respond to climate change, which is often predicted to reduce overall rainfall, making it harder for fungi to spread. Without fungi to keep species in check, we could see a significant knock-on effect and lose a lot of the diversity that makes rainforests so special.”

The name of the fungus. Genetic advances spur mycologists to put their kingdom in order: here.

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Rare fungi on Dutch causeway

This is a video about fungi from the USA.

The Grevelingendam is a causeway in the Netherlands, built 1958-1965.

It links Schouwen-Duiveland island to Goeree-Overflakkee island.

Recently, fungi growing there have been studied. 329 fungi species grow on the causeway, including very rare ones.

A few of these 329: Diachea leucopodia; Nectriopsis tubariicola; Phaeohelotium monticola; and Inocybe whitei.

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Parrot toadstool is Mushroom of the Year 2014

Parrot toadstools on a Faroe Islands stamp

The parrot toadstool has been elected by Dutch mycologists as Mushroom of the Year 2014.

Fungus in windy weather, video

This is a video about a wood ear fungus in windy weather in the Netherlands.