Wednesday, May 30, 2018

From the inbox: Help with mystery fungus of the Arctic

Found this in my inbox yesterday and thought it couldn't hurt to spread the word further. Tomas Roslin wrote:

Kadri Pärtel from the Univeristy of Tartu is asking for help from good ecologists travelling in the Arctic this summer.

Kadri is keen to obtain samples and pictures of some ascomycetes growing gregariously on Diapensia lapponica dead leaves in summer (June, July, August). These fungi have semitranslucent-beige turbinate cup-like fruitbodies, 100-250 um in diam. Based on material collected in 1970-1980s the preliminary description of this new taxon was made by Estonian mycologist Ain Raitviir, but Kadri would now need additional information - a recent specimen for DNA barcoding and phylogeny as well as for making illustrations to describe this species with yet unclear generic affiliation.

Here a photo of something similar (a different fungus though) to what you should look for. In brief: translucent, really tiny <0.5 mm cups on dead Diapensia leaves. An in situ photo would be very nice.

Please keep an eye out for these fungi! Greenland may be a promising spot.

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