Waste basket fungi: Review of Helotiaceae in the Canary Islands

Study presents complete review of morphology, distribution and ecology of Helotiaceae species in the Spanish archipelago

Data resources used via GBIF : 6,780 species occurrences
Ascocoryne cylichnium
Ascocoryne cylichnium by Bård E. Andersen via the Norwegian Species Observation Service. Photo licensed under CC BY 4.0.

The subject of contention since the 19th century, Helotiaceae is family of fungi comprising 177 genera and 826 species. Often placed as the last step of identification keys to members of the parent order Helotiales, Helotiaceae has become a “waste basket” family, only arrived at after discarding all other families.

In a study of Helotiaceae species in the Canary Islands, authors review nine genera and 12 species of Helotiaceae present in the Spanish archipelago. Through field sampling and studies of literature and specimens available through GBIF.org, the researchers present detailed descriptions of species morphology (including images), distribution and ecology.

Adding a new report of Cyathicula hysterioides and three new genera (Durella, Pseudohelotium, Velutarina), each with one species, the Canary Island study also corrects a previous record of species occurrence (Ascocoryne cylichnium). Due to morphological characteristics, the latter, however, may represent a different species, and exact identification will required further molecular studies.

Link to original article

Quijada L, Ribes M, Negrín R and Beltrán-Tejera E (2017) Lignicolous species of Helotiales associated with major vegetation types in the Canary Islands. Willdenowia. Botanic Garden & Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem BGBM 47(3): 271–291. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3372/wi.47.47310.

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