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The protochecklist of North American nonlichenized Fungi

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journal contribution
posted on 28.11.2018 by Scott T. Bates, Andrew N. Miller, the Macrofungi Collections and Microfungi Collections Consortia

Fungi are the second largest group of eukaryotic organisms on Earth, providing essential ecosystem services throughout the world. Although early attempts were made in the 20th century to document various components of the mycota of North America, no extensive list of taxonomic names has ever been compiled for this region. This paper represents the first comprehensive checklist for nonlichenized Fungi from North America, which is defined here as Canada, Mexico, and the United States (and its territories), and is based on the efforts of 75 fungaria that deposited their data online in the Mycology Collections Portal (MyCoPortal). This protochecklist is compiled from nearly 2.2 million records and includes 44 488 fungal names based on the MycoBank taxonomic thesaurus, with differences discussed that reflect discrepancies from the estimate of 46 118 taxa derived from a second list based on the Index Fungorum thesaurus. Approximately 114 000 type specimens (i.e., holo-, iso-, lecto-, syntypes, etc.) representing more than 52 000 typified taxa occur in the MyCoPortal, and of these, ca. 53 000 type specimens representing more than 18 000 typified taxa are described from North America. Several known problems exist with this protochecklist, including orthographical errors, unresolved synonymies, and incomplete taxonomy. The result offers a list of taxonomic names for discussion and provides a foundation for future systematic and taxonomic revisions and the discovery of new records and novel taxa for the region. Furthermore, this protochecklist serves as a baseline for documenting fungal taxa in North America more effectively and comprehensively.


The development and success of the Mycology Collections Portal that has enabled the production of this protochecklist would not have been possible without support from the National Science Foundation Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program through awards to the Macrofungi Collections Consortium (DBI-1206197) and Microfungi Collections Consortium (DBI-1502735) Thematic Collections Networks.