Submitted to: Inoculum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2005
Citation: Glawe, D.A., Ammirati, J.F., Callan, B.E., Dugan, F.M., Norvell, L.L., Seidl, M.T. 2005. The pacific northwest fungi project: developing a collaborative model for inventorying biodiversity on a regional basis. Inoculum V. 56(4), P. 21. Interpretive Summary: The Pacific Northwest Fungi project is a collaborative effort involving mycologists from academia, government and private business, as well as amateur mycologists, in Alaska, Washington State, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and British Columbia. Regional herbaria, databases, teleconferences, forays and an on-line, peer-reviewed journal are integral to the project mission of monitoring and reporting fungal biodiversity and natural history of the Pacific Northwest. The project is intended as a cost-effective alternative to reliance on national funding, print media and uncoordinated research.
Technical Abstract: The Pacific Northwest Fungi Project was founded in 2002 to develop a new model for biodiversity surveying. Only about 70,000 of an estimated 1.5 million fungal species are known worldwide. Ignorance of 95% of fungal species impedes efforts to classify them, understand their phylogeny, biology, and ecology, and to assess economic impacts. Understanding this important part of the earth’s biota will enhance our ability to cope with future challenges resulting from global climate change and the pressures on natural ecosystems caused by human populations. There is urgent need for new approaches for collecting, characterizing, and classifying the world’s mycota as an alternative to traditional approaches dependent on national funding, print journals, and uncoordinated research. Project goals are to foster idea exchange among academic and field mycologists, develop collaborative projects, coordinate databases, develop the new online journal Pacific Northwest Fungi for information on the region’s fungal natural history, and involve non-professional mycologists. Relying heavily on mutual collegial support, internet resources (web sites, an online journal, and email), teleconferences, and occasional face-to-face meetings, the Project actively develops, tests, and assesses approaches to biodiversity surveying that may succeed where past efforts have proven ineffective or too costly.