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New Danish fungal species discovered
Date:9/4/2012

A new fungal species, called 'Hebelomagriseopruinatum', has now officially been included in the list of species. The fungus, whose name can be translated into 'the grey-dewy tear leaf', was discovered on Zealand in Denmark during a mushroom-hunting tour headed by postdoc Jacob Heilman-Clausen from the University of Copenhagen.

During a mushroom-hunting excursion in 2009, postdoc Jacob Heilman-Clausen from the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, was handed a very interesting looking fungus.

Following thorough expert studies, the fungus has now officially been classified as a novel species.

The fungus has been sighted once before in both England and Germany, but has not been described until the Danish discovery. The scientific description of the fungus has just been published in the journal Fungal Diversity.

"We regularly discover species never previously seen in Denmark, but it is quite extraordinary when a Danish fungus is described as new to the world," says postdoc Jacob Heilman-Clausen.

Intimate cohabitation with plant

The fungus was discovered in Eskebjerg Vesterlyng, an area of natural beauty with old grassy areas and scrub rich in species. Here, the species leads an intimate life with the sun rose plant in the same way as popular edible fungi like chantarelles, boletuses and truffles, which depend on cohabitation with trees.

The new species will, however, hardly be a welcome ingredient in your dinner, as several closely related species are toxic, and according to the researchers this also applies to the new species.

"Edible fungi are very popular in Denmark, but only few people realise that fungi serve important functions in nature. They degrade dead material and ensure that nutrients are circulated to the system. And yet we still know very little about how many fungal species exist worldwide. Even i
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Contact: Jacob Heilmann-Clausen
jHeilmann-Clausen@bio.ku.dk
(45) 23-83-99-97
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert  

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