The conservation biology of fungi
Dahlberg, Anders .
Conservation and red-listing of fungi: lessons from Scandinavia and Europe.
National red-listing of larger fungi in Europe has developed substantially since the first fungal Red-List in 1982, in large part because of a network for European mycologists interested in conservation: the European Council for Conservation of Fungi. Today, 31 countries have fungal Red-Lists reporting the status of larger fungi; some countries are in their 3rd to 5th revision. These Red-Lists indicate that up to 20% of European larger fungi are declining or extremely rare and hence threatened due to changing and intensified use of forests and agricultural lands, or anthropogenic nitrogen deposition. Red-Lists have no legal status in any country in Europe, but provide important knowledge about the status of species and are one of several important sources of information that decision makers can use to make political conservation priorities.
The impact of fungal Red-Lists is most significant in countries where the list is official, where the evaluation is accomplished with official support, and where the resulting information is integrated and communicated with corresponding evaluations for birds, plants and other groups of organisms. However, this is rarely the case and only a few European countries formally consider fungi. The major reason is that fungi are not included in any international agreement or in any regional listing of threatened species. Current general conservation efforts without a doubt also support fungal biodiversity, but certain specific habitats and species are overlooked. Conservation is largely a matter of reducing the complexity of biodiversity into operational targets. It is also a matter of pragmatism; we can either choose to voice existing fungal knowledge so that it can be considered, despite being regarded as “insufficient” by some, or we can choose to accept that fungi will be overlooked.
I will share experiences from Europe, particularly Scandinavia, and discuss the significance of compiling, analyzing and communicating knowledge about fungi, to integrate fungal conservation into overall conservation and provide interactive benefits between conservation and science.
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1 - ArtDatabanken, Swedish Species Information Centre SLU, P.O. Box 7007, Uppsala, Sweden
IUCN Red List
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Ballroom 3/Cliff Lodge - Level B
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 4:45 PM