Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/11/2014
Publication Date: 6/30/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60375
Citation: Moreau, P., Bellanger, J., Clowez, P., Courtecuisse, R., Hansen, K., Knudsen, H., O'Donnell, K., Richard, F. 2014. (2289) Proposal to conserve the name Morchella semilibera against Phallus crassipes, P. gigas and P. undosus (Ascomycota). Taxon. 63(3):677-678. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: True morels (Morchella) are among the most highly prized and easily recognized edible mushrooms collected during spring throughout the Northern Hemisphere. To help ensure that commercial harvests are sustainable and species diversity is preserved, management practices and conservation policies need to be informed by genetic diversity studies that critically assess each species native range and geographic distribution. This study was conducted to extend our previously published research findings that surprisingly revealed that three genetically distinct species of half-free morels exist. The half-free species in Europe, which is typically reported as M. semilibera, is phylogenetically distinct but morphologically similar to half-free morel species within Eastern (i.e., M. punctipes) and Western North America (i.e., M. populiphila). We discovered in this study that three older names (i.e., Morchella crassipes, M. gigas, and M. undosa) have been applied to M. semilibera, although rarely during the past century. In this paper we argue that M. semilibera should be conserved over the three older names because they have only rarely been applied to the half-free morel in Europe. The focus of this study was to help ensure that only one scientific name be accepted for the half-free morel in Europe, which should help communication within the global scientific community of conservation biologists, foresters, and agricultural scientists.