Southern Appalachian Species of Lactarius
The mushroom genus Lactarius includes approximately 500 species of ectomycorrhizal fungi in North America. This lecture will summarize knowledge of Lactarius in the southern Appalachian Mountains including images of the common species as well as characteristics to help identify individual taxa. A list of taxa discussed and key to species will be provided.
Andrew Methven is emeritus professor of mycology and lichenology at Eastern Illinois University. He has taught courses in mycology, lichenology, medical mycology, and field mycology, and curated the Cryptogamic Herbarium (with more than 15,000 collections of fungi and lichens). Included among his research interests are systematics and ecology of fungi, mycogeography, the application of molecular techniques to fungal systematics, and the identification and distribution of lichens in Eastern North America.
His research program has examined the distribution of the mushroom genus Lactarius in the Western Hemisphere, the utilization of biological species concepts in systematics studies of fungi, and the application of molecular techniques to phylogenetic studies in Clavariadelphus, Lentaria, and Macrotyphula.
Recent research projects involving undergraduate and graduate students have examined: The effects of sugar maple removal on the occurrence and distribution of fleshy fungi from endemic oak-hickory forests; the occurrence and distribution of fungal endophytes in sugar maple leaves; systematics and ecology of rust fungi on endemic plants; the use of lichens to assess habitat restoration in fragmented forest ecosystems; fungi which inhabit Spartina (cord grass) in the estuaries of coastal Georgia and North Carolina; and, more recently, systematic studies of species complexes in Gyromitra.