Macedonian Mycological Society (MMS)
The Mycological Society of the Republic of Macedonia was established in 1990. According to the Macedonian Law of 1998, The Mycological Society of The Republic of Macedonia altered its name and was re-registered into Macedonian Mycological Society (MMS). The Society is the first and only non-governmental organisation of its kind in the Republic of Macedonia, established as a result of the necessity of an NGO concerned with study, conservation and popularisation of fungi in Macedonia.
MMS was set up in order to unite mushroom forayers from Macedonia for enhanced and more effective dealing with ecological and environmental issues connected with mushrooms. The Society is not only involved in scientific but also in applicative, educational and outreach projects pertaining to fungi and plant diversity, environment protection and sustainable use of bio-resources. It is financed by project grants from both domestic and international institutions, donations, and in-kind funding owing to the voluntary work of many of its members. The majority of MMS members are ordinary citizens, scientists and experts in the field of mycology and environment protection. Mitko Karadelev, who is Full Professor of Mycology at the Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics in Skopje, is president of the MMS.
MMS is stationed and operates at the Mycological Laboratory, which is part of the Institute of Biology within the Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics in Skopje. The Laboratory consists of an office, laboratory, and a collection room.
Major resources for development of the Mycological Laboratory were obtained via donations:
- In November 2000, material and technical resources, reagents, and literature worth 10,000 Euros were granted as a donation to the Mycological Laboratory by DLR Internationales Büro from Bonn, Germany.
- In May 2001, the Norwegian KFOR contingent, in cooperation with KFOR REAR CIMIC, made a donation worth 10,200 Euros for the Mycological Laboratory, which entailed Laboratory reconstruction and provision of furniture.
A national collection of dry fungi registered as Macedonian Collection of Fungi - MCF, comprising approximately 20,000 specimens i.e. circa 4,000 different species is housed in the Mycological Laboratory. The majority of the species have been determined to the level of a species and preserved in compliance with international standards. There is also own database called MACFUNGI, compiled in ACCESS and containing data on 37,000 specimens or 5,000 various species from Macedonia, the Balkans and wider. It facilitates data search based on many criteria (systematic categories, locality, country, collecting date, substrate, and altitude). There is permanent work on enlargement of the base with new data.
Through field studies, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral theses, and practical work with students, the number of species in the collection has multiplied. Field studies aimed at collection of mycological material for enrichment of the collection have been conducted in a number of Balkan countries. In addition, there has been regular exchange of exicata with related overseas institutions and laboratories.