THE ARIZONA MYCOTA PROJECT

 

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Maintained by
S.T. Bates

 

     Arizona, contrary to what some may think, has more to offer by way of habit than just desert.  Rugged mountains, flowing rivers, and expansive forests are also prevalent within the state.  These features contribute to a rich diversity of biotic communities.  In fact, only a few states, such as California, rival Arizona in this aspect.

     In 1990, British mycologist David Hawksworth suggested that only 5% of the Earth's fungal species had been described.  Although opinions differ, the Hawksworth estimate is still widely accepted today.  The situation is quite similar in Arizona where recent estimates suggest several thousand fungal species that occur in the state have never been recorded.  When we consider the diversity of habitats found in Arizona, it is likely that many new records of macrofungi or even new fungal species are awaiting discovery.

     Historically, amateur enthusiasts have made numerous contributions to the science of mycology.  Recent technological advances, such as GPS units, have enhanced the average citizen's ability to record accurate scientific data, while the advent of digital cameras has greatly improved our ability to capture and transmit images.  In the past, it has been proposed that a virtual 'army' of trained mycologist would be needed to truly advance our understanding of the North American fungal flora.  However, when considering  today's technology and the information that the world wide web has made available to the public, perhaps 'virtual mycologists' can make a significant contribution toward that goal.

     The Arizona Mycota Project (AMP) has been created in an attempt to harness this potential resource.  This site solicits the help of volunteer contributors, like you, to help advance our knowledge of the Arizona fungal flora (mycota).  We encourage persons who have come across interesting fungal finds in the state, to collect specimens and record basic field data OR merely contribute fungal digital images.  Specimens of macrofungi sent to AMP will be identified and the field data added to our database.  Specimens with significant scientific value will eventually be housed in the University of Arizona's Robert L. Gilbertson Mycological Herbarium.  AMP specimens have also contributed new records for the state to the Checklist of Arizona Macrofungi and Slime Molds.  In addition, images generated through the Arizona Mycota Project are now linked to the checklist and available for viewing via the World Wide Web.

Please help us make a contribution to the science of mycology in Arizona.

Send your specimens today!

Arizona Mycota Project
c/o S.T. Bates
CIRES Visiting Fellow
University of Colorado at Boulder
Rm. 318 - CIRES Bldg.
Boulder, CO 80309


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A macrofungus growing from a rotting stump
(image by S.T. Bates).
 

This site includes information about the following: Arizona fungi (fungus),  mushroom (mushrooms), puffball (puffballs), herbarium (herbaria), keys, and mycology.