Fungal biodiversity: What do we know? What can we predict?

Gregory M. Mueller*, John Paul Schmit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although fungi are among the most important organisms in the world, only limited and incomplete information is currently available for most species and current estimates of species numbers for fungi differ significantly. This lack of basic information on taxonomic diversity has significant implications for many aspects of evolutionary biology. While the figure of 1.5 million estimated fungal species is commonly used, critics have questioned the validity of this estimate. Data on biogeographic distributions, levels of endemism, and host specificity must be taken into account when developing estimates of global fungal diversity. This paper introduces a set of papers that attempt to develop a rigorous, minimum estimate of global fungal diversity based on a critical assessment of current species lists and informed predictions of missing data and levels of endemism. As such, these papers represent both a meta-analysis of current data and a gap assessment to indicate where future research efforts should be concentrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

Keywords

  • Diversity estimates
  • Endemism
  • Host specificity
  • Ratio data
  • Species lists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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