The Pacific Northwest Fungi Project

What is it? A consortium of professional scientists and amateur natural history enthusiasts cooperating to develop a comprehensive inventory of the region's fungi. The Pacific Northwest includes Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

The Mission: To facilitate cataloging the fungi of the Pacific Northwest by developing educational programs, an online journal and databases, and coordinated research projects.

Why is it needed? Fungi exert an immense influence on the economic and ecological health of our region:

  • Fungi are among the most diverse organisms on the planet—there are more than 1.5 million species
  • Fungi cause immense economic damage—70% of plant diseases are caused by fungi
  • Forests would not exist without fungi—95% of tree species cannot grow normally without mushrooms to help them extract nutrients from soil
  • Fungi cause many human health problems, ranging from deadly infections to allergies
  • Despite their economic, ecological, and medical importance, we still know very little about the fungi of our region—fewer than 1/3 of the predicted species have been catalogued

The Pacific Northwest Fungi Project is the only ongoing effort to catalog the region's fungi— there is no other state, federal, or private program to do this work. The information produced will provide competitive advantages to the region's agricultural and natural resource-based industries and will provide information to human health professionals, homeowners, gardeners, and others interested in fungi.

Specific objectives of the Project include:

  • Developing a comprehensive inventory of the region's fungi
  • Developing and coordinating collaborative research and educational projects
  • Developing a comprehensive inventory of the region's fungi
  • Developing and coordinating collaborative research and educational projects
  • Developing the online journal North American Fungi (formerly known as Pacific Northwest Fungi) to publish original research on fungal natural history, taxonomy, ecology, and biogeography
  • Developing specimen databases and standardized lists of fungal names and host plants for an online fungus-substrate index for the region

Activities of the Project include:

  • Sponsoring the online journal North American Fungi
  • Sponsoring planning meetings, forays, educational programs and workshops
  • Sponsoring a Project website to provide information to the public
  • Facilitating cooperative funding initiatives for research and education projects

Interested in participating? Contact Joe Ammirati