Global diversity and distribution of macrofungi

Gregory M. Mueller*, John P. Schmit, Patrick R. Leacock, Bart Buyck, Joaquín Cifuentes, Dennis E. Desjardin, Roy E. Halling, Kurt Hjortstam, Teresa Iturriaga, Karl Henrik Larsson, D. Jean Lodge, Tom W. May, David Minter, Mario Rajchenberg, Scott A. Redhead, Leif Ryvarden, James M. Trappe, Roy Watling, Qiuxin Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Data on macrofungal diversity and distribution patterns were compiled for major geographical regions of the world. Macrofungi are defined here to include ascomycetes and basidiomycetes with large, easily observed spore-bearing structures that form above or below ground. Each coauthor either provided data on a particular taxonomic group of macrofungi or information on the macrofungi of a specific geographic area. We then employed a meta-analysis to investigate species overlaps between areas, levels of endemism, centers of diversity, and estimated percent of species known for each taxonomic group for each geographic area and for the combined macrofungal data set. Thus, the study provides both a meta-analysis of current data and a gap assessment to help identify research needs. In all, 21,679 names of macrofungi were compiled. The percentage of unique names for each region ranged from 37% for temperate Asia to 72% for Australasia. Approximately 35,000 macrofungal species were estimated to be "unknown" by the contributing authors. This would give an estimated total of 56,679 macrofungi. Our compiled species list does not include data from most of S.E. Europe, Africa, western Asia, or tropical eastern Asia. Even so, combining our list of names with the estimates from contributing authors is in line with our calculated estimate of between 53,000 and 110,000 macrofungal species derived using plant/macrofungal species ratio data. The estimates developed in this study are consistent with a hypothesis of high overall fungal species diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Ascomycetes
  • Basidiomycetes
  • Biodiversity
  • Biogeography
  • Endemism
  • Species lists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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