Citizen mycology

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This talk was given at the Micronet workshop on citizen science. The talk is focused on mushroom surveys of Pt. Reyes National Seashore and Yosemite National Park that were conducted with citizen …

This talk was given at the Micronet workshop on citizen science. The talk is focused on mushroom surveys of Pt. Reyes National Seashore and Yosemite National Park that were conducted with citizen scientists from the Bay area.

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  • 1. Surveying Macrofungi of Yosemite & Pt Reyes Mochella sp nova Conocybe sp nova Tuber sp Mycena pura Agrocybe pediades
  • 2. What is a macrofungus?• Answer: a fungus that produces a macroscopically fruiting structure that can be seen (and sometimes identified) without a microscope.
  • 3. Macrofungi can be very macro Boletus edulis Kabir Peay
  • 4. Or they can be just a few millimetersDasyscyphus nudipesvar. minor
  • 5. Who is involved?• Members of the amateur mushroom groups: Bay Area Mycological Society, Mycological Society of San Francisco, Sonoma Mycological Association, Santa Cruz Fungus Federation• Members of the general public• Professional mycologist, especially students and postdocs, from Berkeley, Davis, SF State, Humboldt State
  • 6. David Arora, Norm Andresen, Fred Stevens, Mike Wood,Erin Blanchard , ChristianSchwarz, Debbie Viess, David Rust, and many others not pictured
  • 7. Some of the “Amateurs” are amazing Cortinarius (>1000 described species) Dimitar Bojantchev
  • 8. Galerina – an example of an LBM (little brownmushroom) genus Doug Smith
  • 9. Mike Wood – the author of Mykoweb
  • 10. The Berkeley crew: Jennifer Kerekes, Anthony Amend, Kabir Peay,Nicole Hynson, Sir David Read, Nhu Nguyen, Todd Osmundsen Else Vellinga
  • 11. Why do we want to survey the macrofungi of the National Parks?• Surprising little is known about the mycoflora of North America• The park contains some of the best and most easily accessible examples of native plant communities• Fungi are crucial components of all terrestrial ecosystems• Provides ground truth for ITS sequence data!
  • 12. Example of the Pt Reyes Survey http://www.mykoweb.com/PtReyes/• The survey was structured into five public “mycoblitzs”• People from the MSSF, FFSC, BAMS, and SOMA provided most of the manpower for collecting and identifying.• Collections were sequenced (ITS and sometimes RPB2)
  • 13. We assigned people routes and zones to cover
  • 14. Collection instructions were passed out:
  • 15. Identification of the collections• Collections were made and coarsely sorted on the Saturday of each foray, and then examined more closely, photographed and dried on the following Sunday.• Collection tags from common species were saved and catalogued to provide distribution data• Species that were new to the park list, or for which no permanent collections were previous made were saved.• Sunday a smaller group at Berkeley sorted through the the latter collections, examined some with microscopes, selected those worth saving, and photographed and dried them.
  • 16. Curation of collections• Collection data were entered in a database• Collections were accessioned into the UC Herbarium• Data and images were be made web accessible• Eventual goal is to sequence the ITS region from all of them, and RPB1 from all collections
  • 17. Inocybe centralPeter Kennedy Kabir Peay
  • 18. DNA sequences helped to sort out the difficult groups
  • 19. Increase in number of recorded species with each mycoblitz at Pt. Reyes600500400300200100 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • 20. Inverse Ranked Abundance Curve of Pt. Reyes fungal species by number of collections
  • 21. A different plan for Yosemite• Fewer people (but many specialists)• No “mycoblitzes”, but lots of small group collecting• Voucher specimens with similar labeling and photographic conventions as at Pt. Reyes• DNA sequences still a must• Better internet coordination
  • 22. The Mushroom Observer Nathan Wilsons cool tool• Google “Mushroom Observer”• Plug in “Yosemite” in the find widow
  • 23. In 8 month we when from 39 pages to 63 pages of15 collections/page
  • 24. Google Doc: the non-public coordination interface
  • 25. A small piece of the collectionsspreadsheet on Google Docs
  • 26. Some numbers from the first year’s survey• >500 collections were made, 110 have been sequenced in one direction for the ITS region• The collections included >130 species, and 111 genera• 90% of the species and 62% of the genera were new records for the Yosemite• This more than doubled the number of species known from the park and increases the known genera by 88%• When compared to Pt Reyes 62% of the species and 47% of genera were unique to the park• Several new species have been described
  • 27. Time consuming issues• Keeping up with curation of specimens• Keeping up with the website• Keeping up with sequence acquisition and dissemination• Dealing with permits (especially from Yosemite!)
  • 28. My Dream:• Expand this effort to survey the continent with a goal of producing an North American mycoflora• Use this is a platform for training both professions (grad students and postdocs), and the general public• Find major funding for this