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Macedonian Mycological Society

National Red List of Fungi of Macedonia Released

The new National Red List of Fungi of Macedonia has been produced, including 64 species, compatible with the Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Regarding the species threat status, 6 species have been assigned the category of CR - Critically Endangered (9.3 %), 19 EN – Endangered (29.6 %), 34 VU – Vulnerable (53.1 %), 2 NT - Near Threatened (3.1 %), 2 LC - Least Concern (3.1 %), and one species is data deficient (1.5 %). The majority of the fungal species (53) belong to the phylum Basidiomycota whereas 11 are affiliated with the phylum Ascomycota.

Thirteen of the Macedonian fungal species assessed are on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, whose component dedicated to fungi currently (as of March 2021) comprises 425 species. The red-listing data, with maps and detailed justification of each species conservation status, have been stored in IUCN’s global central database, and they will subsequently transferred to the Macedonian National Red List website, which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.

The next step is initiating a formal procedure for enacting the official National Red List of Fungi, which will be available to the relevant authorities in charge of conservation and the applicable biodiversity programmes. The National Red List is a seminal tool for biodiversity monitoring and identification of priority species in creating nature protection and conservation policies. It is pivotal for fungi conservation in the light of the major threats, such as loss and fragmentation of fungi habitats, loss of symbiotic hosts, overexploitation, pollution, and climate change.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has supported the latest red-listing efforts via the project Biodiversity Capacity Building Programme: Promoting Good International Practices in Macedonia, managed by Hardner & Gullison Associates from the USA.

The ground-breaking effort for fungi conservation in the country was the Preliminary Red List of Fungi of Macedonia from year 2000, comprising 67 species. In 2013, the appendix to the red list of fungi was published containing 213 species, following the IUCN Red List criteria and categories. Yet, the latter was not a red list in the non-inclusive sense of the word since justification of species conservation status was not provided. All fungi red-listing documents to date have been produced by a team from the Macedonian Mycological Society led by Prof. Mitko Karadelev from the Faculty of Natural Science in Skopje.

Guepinia helvelloides. Photo by Mitko Karadelev.

Galerina sphagnorum. Photo by Matthias Theiss.

Daedaleopsis nitida. Photo by Matthias Theiss.

Inocutis tamaricis. Photo by Tome Jovanovski.

Fungus Rosy Goblet Symbol of Vodno Protected Area 

The Macedonian Mycological Society proposes that the fungus rosy goblet become a symbol of Vodno Protected Area.

It is expected that very soon the Parliament will adopt the Government Resolution dated 17 Aug 2021 for proclaiming part of Vodno Mountain as a protected area in Category V - protected landscape, thereby facilitating protection of a number of rare and threatened fungal species occurring in the area. Specifically, five species are categorized as endangered (EN) or vulnerable (VU) pursuant to the IUCN, and they are part of the forthcoming National Red List of Fungi of Macedonia. The rosy goblet (Microstoma protractum) is among those species, emerging in springtime in a very small area in Sredno Vodno. It is a very rare and endangered species. Let us preserve the fungus rosy goblet from Vodno!

Microstoma protractum. Photo by Mitko Karadelev.

Clitopilus abprunulus - New Species from Macedonia

A species from Macedonia new to science has been published by the authors Si-Peng Jian, Mitko Karadelev, Pan-Meng Wang, Wang-Qiu Deng and Zhu L. Yang in the journal Mycological Progress 19(8):805–816 (2020), in the paper titled ''Clitopilus abprunulus, a new species from N. Macedonia with notes on C. ravus and pleuromutilin producing taxa''. The study describes Clitopilus abprunulus  (Entolomataceae, Agaricales) as a new species based on collections from Macedonia with both morphological and molecular evidence. The research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, within the framework of a Sino-Macedonian scientific and technological cooperation project.

Fungi Exhibition in Natural History Museum in Skopje 

The Natural History Museum in Skopje, Macedonia, and the Macedonian Mycological Society are mounting an one-month exhibit of fungi entitled the Mystic Nature of Fungi, officially opened in the Museum on 23 December 2019. This is the first fungi exhibition ever in the Museum. 

The show comprises photographs of notable Macedonian fungi species by the renowned German photographer Matthias Theiss and two dioramas of dry fungi specimens from the Macedonian Collection of Fungi (MCF), housed at the Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics - Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.

Photos courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Macedonia.

Astraeus macedonicus - New Species from Macedonia

A new species of fungi has been described from Macedonia, named after the country where it has been collected- Astraeus macedonicus, by Rusevska, Karadelev, Telleria & M.P. Martin. The research article has been published in Persoonia, volume 42, 2019. The notes section within the paper reads as follows:

''Astraeus macedonicus is known from deciduous forests in four Macedonian localities (the mountains located in the west, north, south and east part of the country). Morphologically, this species is very similar to A. hygrometricus, A. pteridis and A. telleriae, not only in its habitat but also in its microscopic characters, such as capillitium and spores; therefore, all records (collected up to 2007) were previously published as A. hygrometricus (Karadelev et al. 2008). However, the Bayesian analyses, based on 53 collections from Macedonia, and a number of published sequences mainly from Phosri et al. (2007, 2013, 2014), Fangfuk et al. (2010) and Ryoo et al. (2017), clearly grouped eight Macedonian collections as a sister clade of Astraeus ryoocheoninii, a species described from Japan and Korea, and separated A. hygrometricus, A. pteridis and A. telleriae.'' 

Macedonian - Chinese Study of Heavy Metal Content in Fungi 

A team from the Macedonian Mycological Society is currently working on the bilateral project Heavy Metal Content in Selected Wild Mushrooms in Macedonia and Yunnan Province (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2019). It is part of the Macedonian-Chinese Scientific and Technological Cooperation Programme, supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Macedonia and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. The team is led by Prof. Mitko Karadelev from the Institute of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, and the host-partner is the mycological team led by Prof. Yang Zhuliang from the Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan Province, China.

During his two-week visit to China during July and Aug 2018, observing numerous target localities in Yunnan Province, Prof. Mitko Karadelev also delivered a lecture on the topic of Rare and Threatened Fungi in Macedonia and Neighbouring Areas, at the Kunming Institute of Botany in Kunming. The Chinese scientists are slated to visit Macedonia next autumn.

The project aim is comparison of heavy metal content (Ni, Cu, Fe, Hg, Zn, Mn, Pb and Cd) of selected fungi and their substrates from several localities (3 polluted and one clean area) in Macedonia (Kicevo, Bitola and Veles vs. Kozjak as a clean and non-industrialised area.) and in Yunnan Province in China accordingly. The project outcome will be establishment of the pollution level in the studied areas according to the heavy metal content in selected most common and widely distributed species occurring in both countries, belonging to the genera Agaricus, Amanita, Boletus, Marasmius, Russula, Stereum, Trametes, etc. and to different fungi groups (comestible, medicinal, poisonous, terricolous, lignicolous). These efforts will ensure accurate evaluation of polluted areas, proposing appropriate mitigation measurements, beneficial for environmental protection in both countries.

Trogia venenata, a deadly poisonous mushroom from Yunnan Province, China; July 2018.

Phallus indusiatus, commonly called the veiled lady, is an edible mushroom found in Yunnan Province, China, July 2018.

Report on EMA-ISFC Meeting in Ohrid 

N A R R A T I V E   R E P O R T

on Meeting  Fungal Conservation in Changing Europe - the Challenges Ahead,

prepared by Prof. Mitko Karadelev, local organizer and Macedonian Mycological Society president

Skopje, Oct 2017

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Executive Summary

The scientific Meeting of the European Council for Conservation of Fungi entitled Fungal Conservation in a Changing Europe: the Challenges Ahead, held in Ohrid (Macedonia) in Oct 2017, was a great success and all projected programme goals and objectives were achieved, in the context of promotion of international cooperation in fungal research, monitoring programmes, the specific steps towards fungal red listing in Europe at continental and national levels and towards publication of a European Red Data List of threatened fungi, and ECCF current and future contribution to global fungal conservation initiatives.


Introduction and Background Information on the Event

The 2017 Meeting of the European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF) entitled ‘Fungal Conservation in a Changing Europe - the Challenges Ahead’ was held in Hotel Tino in Ohrid, Macedonia, from 1st to 6st of October. This high-profile event, held under the auspices of the European Mycological Association and the International Society for Fungal Conservation (ISFC), was organised and hosted by the Macedonian Mycological Society and Ss Cyril and Methodius University from Skopje. The Macedonian Mycological Society (MMS) is based at the Institute of Biology within the Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics, Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. The ECCF was established in 1988 and it is now the conservation body of EMA. Full meetings of the ECCF have traditionally been held halfway between successive congresses of European Mycologists. The previous ECCF meetings were held in Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Finland and Spain. The gathering in Ohrid enjoyed great support, and it was particularly significant that it took place in the Balkan Peninsula, which has in recent times seen remarkable progress in fungal conservation. The Balkan countries are large mushroom exporters but they are still in lack of proper legislation pertaining to fungi protection.


Event Delivery Review

Within the Meeting Programme, more than thirty oral presentations were delivered and approximately twenty poster-presentations. Three sessions were held enabling specialist consideration of fungi covered by three of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Specialist Groups (red-listing of larger Basidiomycetes, rusts and smuts, and non-lichen-forming Ascomycetes). There was a one-day field excursion to Pelister National Park (visiting five-needle molika pine forest - Pinus peuce). During the event, two exhibitions were also displayed: an exhibition of freshly collected fungi and an exhibition of fungi in contemporary art.

The Meeting proved to be an excellent platform for the participants to discuss the current processes responsible for changes in the mycoflora on a local, regional, national, European and worldwide level, such as habitat loss, climate change, excessive exploitation, pollution etc.. The event plenary lectures and presentations dealt with the major ongoing European fungal conservation projects, along with educational, infrastructural and political challenges for fungal conservation in Europe nowadays. Lectures were delivered on red listing and legal protection of fungi in the Balkan countries, Turkey, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Russia. Nonetheless, the coverage of fungal conservation topics exceeded the European scale, with major talks on the state of affairs in China, India, Borneo and South Africa.

Fungal Conservation in the genomic age was widely debated and a review was made of how molecular techniques can inform and be applied to practical fungal conservation.

The hands-on workshops on global red listing were chaired by the Chairs of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)’s Species Survival Commission Fungal Specialist Groups and the leaders of the Global Fungal Red List Initiative. Advancement or finalisation was made of the assessments of many fungal species.

Citizen science, databases and new technology for fungal conservation was also one of the topics, whereat the power of citizen science and big data to foster fungal conservation was underlined. A number of websites were pinpointed for fungal data search such as USDA, GBIF and MushroomMap. Valuable projects were presented, for instance, the ‘Lost and Found Fungi’ UK-based project considering fungi that have not been observed for over 50 years and inquiring whether they are simply overlooked or truly extinct, or the India-UK collaborative ventures creating fungi databases.

A separate workshop/meeting of the European Council for Conservation of Fungi was held during which the past role of the ECCF in fungal conservation in Europe was discussed and its future role was mapped. Recommendations were made for bringing together ECCF members’ expertise to provide the best scientific evidence accessible to policy makers, communicating the significance of fungi to policy-makers and the general public, and providing assistance to ECCF members so that they can enhance their capacity via training and networking.


Participation

The Meeting was the first mycological gathering in Macedonia, whereat 56 representatives of 29 countries from Europe and beyond were in attendance. The overall level and quality of the international and a few local participants was outstanding. The majority of them were luminaries of fungal conservation on a global scale, such as scientists from IUCN Species Survival Commission Fungal Specialist Groups or their chairs and the leaders of the Global Fungal Red List Initiative.

Media Exposure

The Meeting was covered by the domestic national and regional media. The reports were broad and entailed all key aspects of the fungal conservation meeting: its programme, purpose and expected outcomes. It was reported by the reputable national, daily broadsheet newspaper Nova Makedonija and the regional web-based news outlet OhridPress.

The Macedonian Mycological Society as a local host also provided extensive live coverage of the ECCF Meeting developments on social media: on the MMS twitter account and the facebook group specially created for the event, and subsequently on the Meeting webpage created within the MMS official website.

Conclusion

Fungi are essential to the recycling of nutrients in all terrestrial ecosystems, and they are inseparable from the processes that sustain life on earth but they are endangered. Until the last couple of decades, they were completely overlooked by the conservation programmes. The European Council for Conservation of Fungi was the first to recognize this problem. In 2010 the International Society for Fungal Conservation was formed, and in 2013 the IUCN as the world’s foremost conservation NGO formally recognized that protection of fungi was just as important as protection of animals and plants. The ECCF Meeting in Ohrid has definitely continued to contribute to these efforts, and by its decision to organise this gathering in Macedonia, ECCF has acknowledged and simultaneously immensely encouraged the current thriving fungal conservation activities in the Balkans.


For download of this Narrative Report, please click here. 

Group photo of the Meeting participants in front of St Naum Monastery in Ohrid, Macedonia; Oct 2017.

Proceedings of European Council for Conservation of Fungi Meeting in Ohrid 


The Meeting of the European Council for Conservation of Fungi, under the auspices of EMA and ISFC, has officially been opened in Ohrid and it will last from 1st to 6th Oct 2017. It is hosted by the Macedonian Mycological Society and Ss. Cyril and Methodius University from Skopje. The Programme of EMA Meeting can be found here. Photographic albums with captions from all days of the scientific Meeting are available in the Photo Gallery, as follows:


Day 2 - Morning Session - Fungal Conservation in Europe; Day 2- Afternoon Session - Fungal Conservation in Europe and Beyond;


Day 3 - Morning Session - Red Listing Fungi, Day 3 - Poster Session, Day 3 - ECCF Meeting on the Future of the Council;


Day 4 - Fungal Conservation in Europe - Specific Projects and IUCN Workshops;


Day 5 - Citizen Science, Databases and New Technology for Fungal Conservation;


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Exhibition of Fresh = Fungi collected in Pelister National Park - Day 5.


Exhibition: Fungi in Contemporary Painting, displayed throughout the Meeting.

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Join the conversation on social media: the Meeting twitter is @mkdmycology, and the facebook group formed specially for the event can be found here.

Please use the Meeting hashtag #EMAohrid2017 and mention @EMAConservation to get the word out.