OVER the course of greater than a decade, mycologists Danny Newman and Roo Vandegrift went on many expeditions to a nearly unexplored a part of Ecuador.
The Los Cedros reserve within the Ecuadorian Andes is a cloud forest, so its important supply of precipitation is low-level clouds. Between 2008 and 2019, the pair scouted out as many fungi species as they might on this 52-square-kilometre space. An astonishing 727 had been recognized. Among the specimens from Los Cedros are proven right here, together with one regarded as from the Mycena genus (important picture) and a Favolaschia (pictured beneath), with its distinctive honeycomb-like pores.
“We began finding out the fungi there as a result of it’s each extremely understudied and extremely threatened,” says Vandegrift, with mining, tree felling for lumber and clearance for agriculture posing the primary threats. The expeditions’ findings protected Los Cedros from mining concessions in a landmark ruling in 2021 – opening the eyes of the Ecuadorian courtroom system to the reserve’s significance as a biodiversity reservoir.
It’s a lesson that may be utilized to so many extra of the world’s habitats, says Vandegrift. “Not each forest, protected or not, will get that form of consideration, but when they did, I assure you’d discover unbelievable life,” he says.
This range is highlighted in additional specimens Newman collected elsewhere. The 2 pictures above present a rhododendron blight, a fungal pathogen that infects azaleas and rhododendrons, present in California’s Mendocino county, with a close-up of its reproductive buildings beneath it. Pictured beneath is a fly agaric from Estacada in Oregon.