BDBSA Project Metadata Detail

Survey/Project Number: 731          Total No. of Sites: 0
Survey/Project Name: Macrofungi of South Australia
Abstract: Due to the work of Professor Sir John Burton Cleland (1878 - 1971), South Australia is in a fortunate position mycologically as it has the most significant collection of macrofungi in Australia, in both number of specimens and number of type collections (Grgurinovic 1997 p1). Cleland made about 16,000 collections (May & Pascoe 1996), the South Australian ones mostly during the 1920s and 1930s. Many of these were described in his Handbook Toadstools and Mushrooms and other Larger Fungi of South Australia (Cleland 1934 - 35). Cleland was Marks Professor of Pathology at the University of Adelaide from 1920 - 1948. His interest in natural history, especially mycology, was intense and, unlike most of the early Australian naturalists, he kept his collections in Australia. He made extensive use of Rea s British Basidiomycetes and communicated with mycologists throughout the world. Identifications of a number of fungi collected by him were made by Miss E.M. Wakefield at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and by G.H. Cunningham of New Zealand who determined many of the polypores. Cleland collaborated with L. Rodway of Hobart and especially with Edwin Cheel, Keeper of the Herbarium, Botanic Gardens, Sydney, with whom he described a number of new fungal species. Cleland s Handbook has been revised (Grgurinovic 1997) to bring up to date the taxonomic nomenclature. Grgurinovic has augmented Cleland s descriptions by giving detailed information, including diagrams, on microscopic features of South Australian fungi in the collections. Cleland s Handbook and its revision remain the major works on South Australian macrofungi. Fungi are included in Plants of the Adelaide Plains and Hills, and about ninety species are illustrated and briefly described (Dashorst & Jessop 1990). Though there have been collectors of fungi other than Cleland (notably Lindley Williams, also Jack Warcup, Cheryl Grgurinovic, Jack Simpson, E. Sims, E. J. Semmens, E. Cheel, J.R. Harris, R. Coles and Graham Bell), the South Australian fungi have not been collected extensively since the 1930s. This present study involves the documentation and collection of the macrofungi of South Australia. The project aims to increase knowledge of the macrofungal species in South Australia, of their distribution, of their times of fruiting and of their conservation status. The study started in 1999 and is ongoing.
Start Date: 01/01/1999      End Date: 01/01/2020
Survey Type: Other
Study Area Description: All Regions in South Australia (see "Flora of South Australia", frontispiece)
         Vegetation: The present study aims to increase knowledge of the macrofungal species in South Australia, of their distribution, of their times of fruiting and of their conservation status.
         Fauna: *** No fauna survey objectives recorded
         Vegetation: FUNGI Collection, Description and Preservation of Specimens for deposit at the State Herbarium of South Australia Most fungal fruit bodies comprise more than 90% water and decay rapidly. Preservation requires methods different from those successful for higher plants, pteridophytes, bryophytes and lichens. Though microscopic features are usually retained, many macroscopicfeatures are lost on drying, making it essential to record macroscopic features soon after collection. Collection Specimens must be in good condition, unaffected by bacterial decay or arthropod attack . All stages of development, from primordia (buttons) to fully mature specimens, are collected. Preferably, they are taken from the same mycelium or from a small area. The optimum number of specimens collected varies with size: from at least 5 specimens of large to medium sized (50-200 mm cap diameter) to 50 specimens of very small fruit bodies (1-2 mm). The whole specimen is collected. This may involve careful digging around the base with a knife to ensure the whole of the fruit body is retrieved since the basal structure may be diagnostic for example, in Amanita which has a volva, and species such as Phaeocollybia radicata and Oudemansiella radicata which have a rooting base. Bracket fungi are cut from the bark or log. Soil and grit are removed. The specimens are wrapped in waxed paper or placed in separate plastic containers of the appropriate size. Each collection is labelled with a collection number. Notes are made of features which may rapidly disappear e.g. stickiness. Special collecting techniques are required for truffles. See Castellano et al. (1989) for information. Descriptions of gilled fungi, on return to field laboratory. Hand drawing of representative  whole specimens, labelled with cap diameter, height, stipe height and width (at top, middle and at base), position and size of annulus and volva (where present).  specimens cut in half longitudinally, giving measurements of features listed above, together with gill length and width, depth of flesh, distance from centre to edge of cap and details of attachment of lamellae/gills.  arrangement of lamellae and lamellulae. Descriptions of pileus (cap): size, colour (against a standard colour chart [Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 1969, Flora of British Fungi: Colour Identification Chart, HMSO Edinburgh; Kornerup & Wanscher 1978]), shape, texture, margin and whether viscid, dry or glutinous, hygrophanous or not. Descriptions of lamellae (gills): colour, attachment to stipe, closeness to each other, depth, thickness, texture, margin, lamellulae, branching and number. Description of stipe (stem): colour, length at top, middle and base, shape, texture, whether viscid, dry or glutinous, attachment to stipe, interior structure, consistency . Descriptions of other macroscopic features (if present): annulus (ring), cortina or its remains, volva . Descriptions of smell, taste, colour changes on cutting or bruising, exudates, basal mycelia. Records of chemical tests appropriate for the group. A spore print to record colour of massed spores. The description of fungi without gills e.g. those with pores, tubes or spines, coral fungi, jelly fungi, puffballs, earthstars, vegetable caterpillars, truffles and Ascomycetes is based on sets of characters specific to those groups. Many of these characters are also ephemeral and must be recorded shortly after collection. Microscopy. Microscopic examination of specimens follows procedures set out by Largent et al. (1977). Almost all microscopy was carried out on fresh specimens. Where dried material was used, it was rehydrated in 5% aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH), stained with ammoniacal Congo Red and mounted in 5% aqueous solution of KOH. Sections of ascomycetes were examined separately in water, in 5% aqueous KOH and in Melzer s Reagent. (see project notes for additional details).
         Fauna: *** No vertebrate methodology recorded

Data Distribution Rules: Public
Project Basis: Vegetation : Unclassified - pending reassessment.
Information Authority: Department for Environment and Heritage (BDBSA:Adelaide)