Biodiversity, Biogeography, and Conservation of Laccaria

Laccaria has been used as a model group to study fungi that form ectomycorrhizas (beneficial symbionts of forest trees). Activities in 2014 saw the completion of a multi-year project that combined information from long-term fieldwork with DNA analyses to document the group's diversity, evolutionary relationships, and biogeographic patterns. This resulted in the most comprehensive study of any genus of ectomycorrhizal fungi. A final draft of the first in a series of manuscripts resulting from this work was completed. A study initiated in 2013 with colleagues from Australia and New Zealand to investigate the role of climate in shaping diversity and distribution patterns of macrofungi was expanded and a proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to carry out the work was prepared (Mueller, Wilson, and collaborators).