Fungi are one of the most important and highly diverse organisms. Although some attention has been given to species with interest for conservation biology, such as endangered or invasive alien species, none of these have been examined systematically.
In the present paper, the authors seek to assess the endemicity of Japanese fungi using GBIF-mediated data. Endemic species are unique to a given geographic location, such as an island, country or other defined area. Categorizing a species as endemic should be limited to well-known species to avoid falsely classifying due to lack of data. Proving the endemicity of a species is difficult, if not impossible. Primary biodiversity data, however, makes it easy to confirm the occurrence of a species in an overseas location and thereby ruling out endemicity.
By examining two volumes of Colored Illustrations of Mushrooms of Japan (I and II) (Imazeki and Hong 1987, 1989), a masterpiece of mycobiota information, researchers reviewed the comments of 3,928 mushrooms and found clear mention of endemicity for 182 taxa. These were selected and further assessed by referring to the GBIF-mediated records for occurrences in other countries.
Results revealed 109 taxa already known to occur outside Japan that should not be categorized as endemic. However, for 71 taxa endemicity could not be ruled out, and at present, these should be accepted as possible endemic mushrooms.