Comparative Studies on the Macrofungi of China and Eastern North America

Some plant, animal, and fungal species are common to eastern North America and eastern Asia, but are not found anywhere else in the world. Based on publications and herbarium specimens, it is estimated that the number of disjunct species of macrofungi (mushrooms, polypores, coral fungi, puffballs, cup fungi, etc.) in selected groups ranges from 5% to 12% of the total number of eastern North American species. These numbers are higher than those reported for North American - European disjuncts or for western North American - eastern Asian disjuncts in these groups. However, basic questions such as the extent and level of similarity between the macrofungi of the two regions have not been rigorously studied. To address this issue, we are conducting a US - China cooperative study to compare biodiversity of macrofungi of China with that of eastern North America and to test genetic relatedness and variability among and within geographically isolated populations of species that have eastern Asian and eastern North American disjunct distributions.

Presented here is an introduction to the project, divided into several parts: Project Description outlines the need for this study, methodology and work plan, expected scientific benefits, and the U.S. - China cooperation aspects of the project; Study Sites covers scenery, vegetation, and geographical information of our primary research localities in both China and the U.S.; Images of Fungi displays pictures of fungi collected from the study sites and some disjunct species; Publications presents data from our previous studies on disjunct distributions of macrofungi, particularly on two putative disjunct species, Lactarius indigo and Suillus spraguei , along with a Reference List of related scientific publications; Participants shows pictures and resumes of the people involved in this project. We hope you enjoy our site, and if you have any comments, we hope you Contact us .

This project is co-funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation. We have also received financial support for fieldwork from the Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation. Finally, we are deeply grateful to the valuable support of the following institutions: the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, USA; the Systematic Mycology and Lichenology Laboratory, Institute of Microbiology, Beijing, China; Highlands Biological Station, North Carolina, and Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation, Michigan, USA; Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve, Jilin, and Fanjing Mountain Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China. You are welcome to visit their sites as listed in Links .

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