The Hawaiian mushroom Rhodocollybia laulaha was selected as a model to investigate patterns of gene flow between geographically isolated fungal populations from ecologically and bioclimatically varied sites. Its morphology (distinctive when compared to other members of the genus) and affinity for endemic Hawaiian forest suggested that it was endemic to Hawaii. However, speculation as to its closest nonHawaiian relative and its overall placement within the genus was based on mostly anecdotal evidence. The present morphological and genetic research identifies a wellsupported clade comprising R. laulaha individuals from across the Hawaiian Islands, reveals R. lignitilis (described in 2004 from the Neotropics) to be conspecific with R. laulaha, and identifies R. unakensis from Texas as a putative sister taxon. Different possible historical scenarios are discussed regarding the migration and establishment of R laulaha ancestors between the Americas and Hawaii. Rhodocollybia lignitilis is synonymized with R. laulaha, and Marasmius clavipes is transferred to Rhodocollybia.
- Species range
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science