IUCN COMMISSION GROUP

IUCN SSC Aquatic Fungi Specialist Group

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Overview and description

Description:

Aquatic fungi are a polyphyletic group connected by their ecological features (growing and reproducing mainly in marine or freshwaters) rather than by taxonomy. They belong mainly to the phyla ...

Aquatic fungi are a polyphyletic group connected by their ecological features (growing and reproducing mainly in marine or freshwaters) rather than by taxonomy. They belong mainly to the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota and Microsporidia, but include representatives of 13 phyla overall. The key activities for the Aquatic Fungi Specialist Group (AFSG) will focus on creating a taxonomic and biogeographic "backbone" for aquatic fungi from available databases, and integrating those groups not yet covered in species databases. This backbone will form the basis for building an assessment strategy for aquatic fungi, promoting and supporting  conservation planning and quantifying the overlap between aquatic and terrestrial fungi communities. The AFSG has the vision to develop the scientific and coordination basis for the first conservation assessment, planning and action efforts for aquatic fungi

Group leadership

Dr Sally FRYAR

Co-Chair

Sally's main research interests are the ecology, evolution, systematics, and conservation of microfungi. She completed a PhD at Flinders University in 1997 on the taxonomy and ecology of wood decay ...

Sally's main research interests are the ecology, evolution, systematics, and conservation of microfungi. She completed a PhD at Flinders University in 1997 on the taxonomy and ecology of wood decay fungi, examining indirect effects of multi-species interactions. In 1998 she moved to Hong Kong as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong where she was introduced to the fascinating world of freshwater and marine fungi under the supervision of Professor Kevin Hyde. Her research took her to various peat swamp forests, mangroves and streams in Borneo where she was a visiting fellow at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam. While studying the competition between microfungi on wood in aquatic ecosystems as well as their succession and natural distribution she also discovered new taxa of microfungi and became increasingly concerned about the threats to aquatic fungal diversity. Her research now involves documenting microfungi from marine and freshwater habitats around Australia. This includes the identification of ascomycetes, culturing, DNA extraction, PCR for DNA sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis. Sally maintains a strong interest in fungal conservation.

Dr Isabel FERNANDES

Co-Chair

I am a freshwater ecologist particularly fond of aquatic fungi. I want to understand how global changes can determine microbial communities diversity and activity and how that impacts freshwater ...

I am a freshwater ecologist particularly fond of aquatic fungi. I want to understand how global changes can determine microbial communities diversity and activity and how that impacts freshwater ecosystem functioning. My interests include the effects of biodiversity changes, temperature, nutrient enrichment, drought, fungicides, multiple stressors... My work range from lab to field work, from small tubes to mesocosms and streams. I use microscopy- and molecular-based techniques to assess microbial diversity.

At a glance

Official name:
IUCN SSC Aquatic Fungi Specialist Group
Associated Commissions: