MIND.Funga – Monitoring and Inventorying Neotropical Diversity of Fungi
  • MIND.Funga opens up voting for naming new species of fungi to science

    Publicado em 31/08/2022 às 07:59 PM

    Acess here the form for voting!

    New species from genus Ophiocordyceps found in National Park of São Joaquim.

    As a follow up from the Project “SBPC Vai à Escola”, conducted in the schools around the National Park of São Joaquim, MIND.Funga invites all society to vote for naming a new species of fungi. The species under consideration belongs to the genus Ophiocordyceps, which is represented by fungi species that parasite insects! The voting is one of the results from the project supported by SBPC, CNPq, FAPESC and INCT Herbário Virtual da Flora e dos Fungos, in which a paradidactic children’s book was produced and distributed to the schools around the National Park of São Joaquim, place where the new species was found.In the course of the project the students from the region had the opportunity to suggest names for the species, which can be seen in the form. The voting ends up during the “Week of science of Serra Catarinense”, taking place in Orleans and Urubici, coinciding with “19ª National Week of Science and Technology”.  Then run there to vote, as many time as you want, until October 23rd, 2022. In the following day (24/10) will be announced the results of the voting, the scientific name chosen by the majority, as well the students and the school that gave the name which will be used for naming the new species of PARNA São Joaquim.


  • Publicado em 11/05/2022 às 11:05 AM

    Shot in the canopy of a cloud forest, part covered by fog.


  • Didactic material about Fungi

    Publicado em 17/05/2022 às 03:39 PM

    This didactic material entitled “Material Complementar ao livro Sistemática Vegetal I: Fungos”, aims to provide content about fungi,  in the area of ​​mycology, in a up-to-date way. Beyond the vast material on Fungi kingdom, there is also information about pseudofungi (Myxomycetes and Oomycetes).  It is available for free and in Portuguese, you can access it by clicking  [here].

     

     


  • MIND.Funga launches free e-book “Macrofungus Image Capture Protocol”

    Publicado em 15/01/2022 às 12:39 PM

    Photographs are an important step for identification and taxonomy of macrofungi, through them the macroscopics structures that compose fungi can be observed, obtaining that way rich information about fungi morphology. Thinking about the need to obtain good photos to know and document the Funga, the e-book “Protocol for Capturing Macrofungi Images” was idealized. This guide is part of a larger project, which involves the development of an application for recognizing macrofungal species through photographs, and, in this important way, aims to provide tips for those who want to photograph macrofungi. We all know it is important that the images are informative and might help in the recognition of the diversity of these organisms. The basic guidelines range from the scenario preparation, going through all the angles of the fungus that must be photographed, important information to be registered, even about how the application is being developed to help in the recognition of species with the use of artificial intelligence.

    The guide was developed in a multidisciplinary way by the MIND.Funga team developed together with the Laboratory of Image Processing and Computer Graphics from UFSC (LAPIX).

    The bilingual (Portuguese and English) e-book “Macrofungus Image Capture Protocol” is now available for FREE download through the link. The species recognition app, MIND.Funga App, is still in the testing phase and the logo will be officially launched.

    The realization of this book was only possible through partnerships and financial support from some entities, such as CNPQ, CAPES, FAPESC, PPGFAP/UFSC, INCT Herbário Virtual, SBPC and INCoD.

    [Click here to download the E-Book]


  • Researchers identify endangered fungi and warn of the need for conservation policies

    Publicado em 10/11/2021 às 05:33 PM

    A fungus that transforms insects into zombies in the Itajaí Valley and a lichen that is only found between the dunes of a beach in Imbituba are some, of the at least, 21 new species of Brazilian fungi and lichens that will be included in the Red List of Threatened Species from the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN), one of the world’s leading inventories for the conservation status of animals, fungi and plants. The action is the result of a workshop organized by the MIND.Funga research group, linked to the Mycology Laboratory (Micolab) of Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), in partnership with the IUCN Commission for the Survival of Fungal Species. The meetings held throughout September and October brought together, in addition to the MIND.Funga and Micolab teams, 18 researchers from nine states of five regions in the country. Until the end of the year, the group follow the process of the evaluation of another 30 proposals for including species on the Red List.

    The first Brazilian workshop on the evaluation of fungal species for the IUCN Global Red List, in addition to training Brazilian human resources to classify the species in the categories of threat and the application of the IUCN criteria, aimed to engage researchers in the theme of conservation. The initial meetings aimed at the qualification of participants for elaborating the documentation needed. Subsequently, the proposals elaborated by the group were evaluated by two IUCN accredited evaluators: Chicago Botanical Garden Chief Scientist Gregory M. Mueller and Eastern Washington University professor Jessica Allen.

     

    Rickiella edulis is a saprotrophic species (absorbs nutrients from decaying organic matter) that occurs in the Atlantic Forest, Argentina and Paraguay. It is considered endangered by IUCN criteria. Photo: Gerardo Robledo

    The 21 species evaluated are distributed in two phyla  (Ascomycota and Basidiomycota) and eight orders, and the majority is endangered to some degree. There are four Critically endangered (Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild); three in Endangered (Very high risk of extinction in the wild); nine Vulnerable (High risk of extinction in the wild); four Near threatened (low risk category, but with species close to be classified or likely to be included in one of the threatened categories in the near future); and one in the “Data Deficient” category (adequate data on its distribution and /or abundance is lacking to make a direct or indirect assessment of its risk of extinction).

     

    The latter case is of Ophiocordyceps ainictos, a fungus that attacks and parasitizes larvae, probably of butterflies or moths, and controls their behavior, transforming them into true zombies. It is believed to be endemic to the region of Vale do Itajaí . “It is an extremely rare species that has only been found twice in 120 years, being so rare and mysterious that it was not even possible to determine its degree of threat, remaining in the ‘Data Deficient’ category, which indicates that it should be a focus of studies so that its biology and distribution can be better understood, thus complementing a better understanding of how threatened she is, inform professor Elisandro Ricardo Drechsler dos Santos and postdoctoral Diogo Henrique Costa Rezendeboth researchers from MIND.Funga and coordinators of the workshop.

    Another endemic specie of Santa Catarina is Cladonia dunensis,  lichen found only in a strip between the dunes of Praia de Itapirubá, in Imbituba. Due to this extremely restricted distribution, and precisely in an area highly targeted by tourism and real estate speculation, it was assessed as critically threatened with extinction. That is, if nothing is done, there is a high chance of disappearing in the coming decades.

    Four of the species already evaluated will appear in the next IUCN online release, which will be divulged in December; the others will be published during the next year. On workshop websiteit is possible to check all of them, as well as those that are still being analyzed. Other species that occur in Brazilian territory and have been already published on the global red list can be accessed on the MIND.Funga website.

    Lichen Cladonia dunensis is found only in a strip between the dunes of Praia de Itapirubá, in Imbituba. Photo: Emerson Gumboski

    Conservation of fungi and lichens

    Fomitiporia nubicola is a wood-degrading species that, until now, has only been found in the Itajaí Valley and in the São Joaquim National Park, but it may also be found in the Southeast region of Brazil. Endangered, it is considered vulnerable by IUCN criteria. Photo: G. Alves-Silva

    The results of the workshop call attention to the need to implement, in the country, policies for the conservation of funga – a term that designates species of fungi in a given region, in the same way that flora and fauna refer to plants and animals. “We all left the workshop with the understanding that something bigger needs to be done so that fungi are actually considered in the national scenario of biodiversity conservation”, comment the coordinators.

    Fungi are essential for life on our planet. Even if we don’t always notice, they are an important part of our daily lives. The production of medicines and food (in addition to mushrooms, they are also present in the manufacture of cheeses, breads, wines and beers, among others) are just a few examples. Fungi are involved in key processes in natural ecosystems and allow that life as we know exists.

    “However, more than 90% of fungal species are unknown to science, and we know that many of them might be endangered. Therefore, we are running an imminent risk of losing species of great ecological and economic importance without even knowing them. This scenario can be mitigated with the investment of resources for the recognition of this unknown biodiversity, as well as of those species that are threatened to be extinct, accompanied by policies that consider the fungi in studies of environmental impact, plans of national action and as indicators priorities of areas for conservation”, point out Drechsler-Santos and Costa-Rezende.

    Aegis luteocontexta is another wood-degrading species considered rare and vulnerable. It occurs in the Atlantic Forest and potentially in the Amazon, in addition to Guyana and Costa Rica. Photo:: Felipe Bittencourt

    Despite this, there is none type of policy for conservation of fungi in Brazil – they are not even mentioned in conservation laws or plans. There is also no red list for funga in the country – there are official lists only for flora and fauna. “It is urgent not only the need to train mycologists to assess the conservation status of species, but also to disseminate among academics and population that fungi are under threat, and that there is no public policy to defend them, as this is the only way for fungi to gain visibility on the national conservation agenda”, emphasize the workshop coordinators.

    Assessing species and recognizing them as threatened with extinction is just the first step that must be taken. A major achievement, the researchers point out, would be the recognition, by the Ministry of the Environment, of these fungal species that have already been evaluated and published by the IUCN. “There are many needs for fungi to be truly recognized in a national conservation agenda, for this fungi need to be recognized in a public policy that involves all the society, institutions and the government itself, through the Ministry of the Environment, to fungi be incorporated into the legal aspects of Brazilian conservation”, reinforce Drechsler-Santos and Costa-Rezende.

    Wrightoporia araucariae, so far, has only been seen growing on dead araucaria trunks – and only five times in the southern region of the country. Potentially follows the geographic distribution of the tree. It is critically endangered. Photo: M.A. Reck

    MIND.Funga

    In addition to studies about fungal communities, MIND.Funga is dedicated to extension and scientific education actions, such as the production of a children’s bookAlso noteworthy are the Citizen Science projects , in which the residents of the surroundings of the Conservation Units join efforts with researchers to increase the recognition of native species. The group is supported by the Support for Scientific and Technological Research Foundation of Santa Catarina State (Fapesc), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and  Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Capes).

    Camila Raposo/Jornalista da Agecom/UFSC

    Translation by Edilene de Souza Leite


  • (Português do Brasil) Aprender para conservar – as descobertas sobre o Reino Fungi!

    Publicado em 08/11/2021 às 11:31 AM

    Sorry, this entry is only available in Brazilian Portuguese.


  • Trametopsis brasiliensis opens the list of assessed species

    Publicado em 19/10/2021 às 12:20 PM

    1st Brazilian Workshop on Fungal Species Assessment for the IUCN Global Red List

    The MIND.Funga team in partnership with members of the IUCN Commission for the Survival of Fungal Species is promoting the 1st Brazilian Fungal Species Assessment Workshop for the IUCN Global Red List. In this week (Nov 18-22), the event will be in the third meeting:

    • 1st meeting: the group will discuss the application of the IUCN criteria for assessing the conservation status of species through theoretical and practical activities;
    • 2nd meeting: Workshop guests will bring assessment information of 2 or 3 species already in the proposal format to be on the IUCN red list. The proposals will be discussed and improved with the support of the professors;
    • 3rd meeting: each participant will present new assessment information together with the species already discussed in the second meeting and the proposals will be evaluated by certified IUCN evaluators (Gregory M. Mueller and Jessica Allen).

    Brazilian event page in The Global Fungal Red List initiative

    We invited 17 mycologists and lichenologists (mostly Brazilians) to participate in this important initiative for the conservation biology and recognition of Funga.

    The main idea of ​​the event is to engage Brazilian mycology/lichenology specialists in the extremely important topic of conservation. In this way, we hope that those involved are trained throughout the process and continue to propose species for the global list. We need, as Brazilian mycology, to generate a wave of collaborations and that is why we have as supporting partners, the Species Survival Commission International Union for Conservation of Nature (SSC IUCN), MIND.Funga/MICOLAB/UFSC, the Brazilian Society of Mycology (SBMic), the Center for Specialists in Mycology of the Botanical Society of Brazil (NEMic from SBB), and the INCT Virtual Herbarium of Flora and Funga.


  • Funga for everyone!

    Publicado em 17/09/2021 às 06:07 PM

    Citizen Science Program:

    The biologist and master’s student Mahatmã Titton explain to the MIND.Funga readers the unfoldings of the implementation of the Citizen Science Program.

    By Felipe Gruetzmacher

    The MIND.Funga research group, to show the importance of the fungi and promote conservation, developed the Citizen Science Program. In this context, the researchers do more than going on the field to collect and discover the diversity of the species. Through training and provision of an App for smartphones, the program involves the local community to horizontalize the science.

    It’s a way of using Science to positively impact society and diffuse knowledge. The biologist and master’s student Mahatmã Titton was interviewed to report how specialists, citizen scientists, and technology walk together in this special project.

    What’s the importance of debating the “Fungi” theme on society?

    The fungi are still little known, especially in our society which is mycophobic, and it is through work with the community and the society in general that we will show that fungi are not threatening. Instead, they are being threatened with extinction.

    How can a volunteer identify the diversity of the species on the field? It’s a matter of training the look of our own scientist…

    This is a very cool point, the perspective training it’s constant. It starts from the first contact with the program in which we present what fungi are, in what substrates they can be found, what sporomes are, how they feed themselves, and if there is any danger in touching or eating… We noticed that first the collaborators only started sending a few images with no names. After a while, they received the return of the identifications and in a few cases they automatically started sending more images, and some of them were recognized by themselves.

    The photos are kept saved in the app and in our database, this way it is easier to call the researchers from the group and ask for help to review the records made by the collaborators. So, after this curation, we send an email with the possible identification of the images. Still, about the curation, we have a WhatsApp group, where we answer questions directly to the collaborators, for example: Which will be the next steps of the project, if the submissions are correct, if there were any problems, and if they had any doubts regarding the identification, etc…

    What’s the importance of the scientists collaborating between them in projects focused on identifying and learning about fungi diversity? How the institutions (Universities, laboratories, research institutes) can help in this dialogue between researchers?

    There are base projects that can help new research in the future. Furthermore, we are noticing that many of the species in these critical ambients are under serious threat. I believe that through multidisciplinary meetings and discussions, institutions can collaborate with this delicate issue, and also provide resources to projects and programs aimed at the conservation of these threatened ambients and organisms. In my perspective, it is useless to have a healthy society while nature, which serves us a lot, is sick.

    Species of flora, fauna, and fungi interact with each other. Biodiversity depends on these interactions. How can the study of fungi support the preservation of fungi, animals, plants?

    Fungi are essential to life on earth. It is the whole base of the food chain. All organisms on earth depend on them in some way, directly or indirectly. Understanding how species relate to each other, how they develop, how they reproduce and provide food for other beings, among other details… Can make science take another perspective, practically everything we have today was produced through observation and comprehension, and perhaps, it may not be different when there is a whole universe of organisms waiting to be discovered and studied.

    Edited by Genivaldo Alves-Silva and the MIND.Funga Communication team


  • The 1st Brazilian Workshop on Fungal Species Assessment for the IUCN Global Red List

    Publicado em 17/09/2021 às 05:49 PM

    The MIND.Funga team in partnership with members of the IUCN Commission for the Survival of Fungal Species is promoting the 1st Brazilian Fungal Species Assessment Workshop for the IUCN Global Red List. The event will take place in three online meetings in September and October:

    • 1st meeting: the group will discuss the application of the IUCN criteria for assessing the conservation status of species through theoretical and practical activities;

    Participants of the first meeting of the 1st Brazilian Workshop on Fungal Species Assessment for the IUCN Global Red List.

    • 2nd meeting: Workshop guests will bring assessment information of 2 or 3 species already in the proposal format to be on the IUCN red list. The proposals will be discussed and improved with the support of the professors;
    • 3rd meeting: each participant will present new assessment information together with the species already discussed in the second meeting. The proposals will be evaluated by a certified IUCN evaluator, and each participant will have about 10 proposed species and evaluated in the first stage of the preposition.

    We invited 17 mycologists and lichenologists (mostly Brazilians) to participate in this important initiative for the conservation biology and recognition of Funga.

    The main idea of ​​the event is to engage Brazilian mycology/lichenology specialists in the extremely important topic of conservation. In this way, we hope that those involved are trained throughout the process and continue to propose species for the global list. We need, as Brazilian mycology, to generate a wave of collaborations and that is why we have as supporting partners, the Species Survival Commission International Union for Conservation of Nature (SSC IUCN), MIND.Funga/MICOLAB/UFSC, the Brazilian Society of Mycology (SBMic), the Center for Specialists in Mycology of the Botanical Society of Brazil (NEMic from SBB) and the INCT Virtual Herbarium of Flora and Funga.


  • MIND.Funga citizen science

    Publicado em 17/09/2021 às 05:48 PM

    MIND.Funga citizen science: children’s literature meets fungal taxonomy in the schools through “SBPC Vai à Escola

             

    The children’s book “Discovering the little things”, produced by MIND.Funga with the support of SBPC, FAPESC, CNPq, and CAPES is now available also in English, German and Spanish versions, in addition to the original Portuguese version.
    Read more about our project and download the versions of our book by clicking on the book cover above.