This wiki site has been created to provide further information on the fungi of Madagascar.
Fungi are highly diverse but poorly recorded in tropical ecosystems, with substantial numbers of species remaining unknown and undescribed. This is particularly the case in Madagascar, with only a small number of genera being even partially studied. Generally, knowledge of Madagascar fungi is very poor and substantially lagging behind knowledge of most other groups of multicellular organisms on this large island. The majority of our mycological knowledge for Madagascar dates back to the colonial ere and is today largely irrelevant as very few specimens were properly collected and preserved in fungaria. Since 1996, a series of short, opportunistic field surveys have been conducted (Buyck 1999, Eyssartier et al. 2001, Antonín et al. 2005, Buyck et al. 2007), focusing primarily on mushrooms in the Russulaceae and Marasmiaceae but also revealing a rich diversity of native Madagascan fungi, most of which have yet to be described (Buyck 2008). Many of these are ectomycorrhizal with a variety of endemic plants and some may be species-specific, e.g., an undescribed Russula sp. found only with Leptolaena pauciflora (Buyck 2001). Such specificity will be important to understand for conservation and possible restoration programmes, where strategies that consider both the plant and their obligate fungal partners are paramount for success.
Field Sites and HabitatsTo date, collecting has concentrated on the eastern humid forest
This work has been generously supported through a grant to BD from the Bentham-Moxon Trust, a grant from QMM-Rio Tinto to Sven Buerki, Felix Forest, and BD, and the HLAA Fieldwork Fund to PC, BD, and LMS. Special thanks to Stuart Cable and the KMCC staff for facilitating logisitics, and especially Franck Rakotonas for assistance in the field.