Of an estimated 3.2 million species of fungi, only some 120,000 are known to science. Most of the undescribed species reside in the tropics. In 2014, myself [Danny Newman] and a fellow mycologist, Roo Vandegrift, collected some 350 samples of fungi from Reserva Los Cedros; one of the last unlogged watersheds on the western slope of the Andes. We are now looking to begin the microscopic and molecular analysis portions of our research, with the goal of publishing on our findings.
Los Cedros has since come under the threat of mining and development via the Ecuadorian government, making the mycologists’ specimens even more important for understanding the biodiversity of the region.
The video above, Sequencing the Fungi of the Ecuadorian Andes, is a part of Newman and Vandegrift’s project pitch at Experiment, a Kickstarter-like funding platform for scientific discoveries. See more of their finds at Mushroom Observer.
Next: Glowing, blooming fungi in time lapse, The Fungi in Your Future: Mushroom leather, 1000s of Bugs, 100 Islands, 1 Happy Entomologist, and catching butterflies with the longest butterfly net in the world.