Fall 2022

Newsletter Archive


It's time for Flora, Fauna and Funga

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In the last few years there has been an increased awareness of the importance of fungi and the lack of applicable conservation strategies. Fungi are essential for life as we know it. They play diverse roles in all ecosystems including symbiotic relationships with 90% of the world's plants; supplying essential nutrients and defending them from disease. Despite their importance, fungi have largely been ignored making them data deficient, limiting conservation efforts.

To change this, the Fungi Foundation has partnered with others to create the 3F (or FFF) initiative to encourage scientists and governments to adopt mycologically inclusive language by changing the use of "flora and fauna" to "flora, fauna and funga". For more information, please visit their website. Here in Canada the Wild Species report will for the first time make a serious attempt at categorizing the fungi in Canada, increasing the number of listed species from less than 100 in 2015 to over 7000 in the 2020 report, due out later this year. In March of 2022 an attempt was made to identify fungi for conservation: "Macrofungal conservation in Canada and target species for assessment: a starting point" (https://www.facetsjournal.com/doi/10.1139/facets-2021-0180).

It is a small change, but we should all be using the new language of flora, fauna and funga when appropriate. To promote fungi in Alberta, consider supporting the work of Alberta Mycological Society: https://www.albertamushrooms.ca

Photo: golden spindles