Navigation Links
New scholarly paper reveals 100 new species of lichenized fungi
Date:2/14/2011

CHICAGO, IL In an unprecedented coming-out party, 100 newly discovered species are revealed to the world in a single scholarly paper coordinated by Field Museum scientists.

The 100 organisms are lichens, a type of fungi that form associations with algae and populate environments from arctic tundra to tropical rain forests. And the usual inattention bestowed upon new lichens is one reason for aggregating so many new ones in a single paper in the Feb. 18 issue of the journal Phytotaxa.

It is estimated that about 100,000 fungal species, including 17,500 lichens, have been discovered and named, but there may be a million more species waiting to be noticed by science. Lumbsch and his Field colleague Robert Lcking recruited 102 lichenologists from 37 countries to write the massive paper to help draw attention to huge shortfalls in our knowledge of the diverse life on Earth.

A massive collaboration such as the lichen project has some benefits over traditional biology that is done by individuals or small groups, Lumbsch said. Descriptions of the lichen species provided in the Phytotaxa article are more uniform than would likely be true if the 100 new species each appeared in a single article.

Deciding which characteristics of a lichen species to discuss has often been at the whim of individual biologists. Some fancied color while others were more intrigued by texture. As a result, some descriptions from decades ago are difficult to compare with modern information.

"Molecular data show that some characteristics biologists once regarded as minor really carry more importance," Lumbsch said.

The lichen collaboration is intended to demonstrate to biologists that even though they join with a large group in presenting their findings, they still receive full credit and don't lose authority over their discovery, he said.

Another benefit from the lichen collaboration is that besides being in the scholarly paper, every newly found species got its own Web site, part of the Encyclopedia of Life project fostered by the Field Museum and several other institutions. That project seeks to build a public Web source for information on all known species.

"We wanted to show these scientists how easy it is to contribute their information to the Encyclopedia of Life and how useful that is," said Lumbsch.

While biology traditionally has been more solitary, many in the field acquired an appetite for larger collaborations with the project to map the human genome more than a decade ago. Since then, such collaborations have become more common, especially in projects that seek to coordinate understanding of life on the planet, Lumbsch said.

Recruiting biologists to join the lichen collaboration wasn't difficult, he said, but "sometimes getting them to pay attention to deadlines wasn't so easy."

The project, which took about a year to complete, would have been impossible without the Internet and e-mail, Lumbsch said, but even with e-mail communications were very time-consuming.

"I would like to do it again," he said. "But first I will talk to some information specialists to learn how we might facilitate communications so my e-mail inbox doesn't keep overflowing!"


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy O'Shea
noshea@fieldmuseum.org
312-665-7103
Field Museum
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New papers offer insights into process of malarial drug resistance
2. French scientist wins the Journal of Experimental Biology Outstanding Paper Prize
3. High school students paper published in prestigious college math journal
4. HSPD-24 White Paper Now Available From WCC Smart Search & Match
5. New paper offers key insights into how new species emerge
6. Researchers win award for best clinical paper in orthopedic physical therapy
7. GSA special paper presents new studies of Western US earth motion
8. Beetle shell inspires brilliant white paper
9. ADA releases updated position paper on vegetarian diets
10. ADA releases position paper on food and water safety
11. Lower-cost solar cells to be printed like newspaper, painted on rooftops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/22/2020)... , ... July 21, 2020 , ... ... transformation and innovation in technology and compliance, announces a new solution to manage ... must ensure every layer of their technology stack complies with FDA and global ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... , ... July 03, 2020 , ... ... to earn outstanding recognition and multiple awards for not only the products and ... portfolio, SoME® Skincare and Vivace® Microneedle RF. All the brands built by ABM ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... Genedata, ... that it has entered into a multi-year contract with Merus N.V., a ... translational and clinical research strategy to discover and develop ground-breaking drugs. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... 17, 2020 , ... dicentra , a leading Contract ... industries, is pleased to announce that Charles Galea has joined its clinical trials ... is an accomplished and results-driven sales executive with over 10 years of expertise ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... 09, 2020 , ... Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology ... R. Nissenson, M.D., F.A.C.P., as its Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Nissenson will ... SBI-101. Dr. Nissenson serves as an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS), ... membership, recently named BioFit Engineered Products an Awarded Vendor. Awarded Vendor ... seating, cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts at discounted pricing without the delay ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... for treating cancer, today announced the company has entered a license agreement with ... agreement provides Lumeda globally exclusive rights to Roswell Park intellectual property surrounding a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: