Fungi includes all mushrooms and molds, and everything in between. Ecologically, they are very important as they are responsible for the decomposition of organic matter. The biology devoted to the study of fungi is mycology. Prior to DLIA's research, we only knew of 2,157 species in the Park. Now, the total is 2,797 with 57 of these finds new to science and 583 are new records for the Park.
Kingdom Common Name: Fungi
Some uses of fungi include the following.
- Directly as food (mushrooms)
- Indirectly as food (leavening and fermentation)
- Production of antibiotics
- Various enzymes from fungi used in production of detergents and in industrial processes
- Biological control agents for weeds and pests
MORE on Fungal Biodiversity in the Smokies ...
The following phyla of the Kingdom Fungi are known to inhabit the Park.
|Ascomycota||sac fungi and lichens||2004||Here|
|Chytridiomycota||lttle sporepot fungi||(NA)||Here|
Special thanks to the following leading researchers for their help and fieldwork contribution to the park's knowledge of Fungi.
- Dr. Karen Hughes - University of Tennessee
- Dr. Andrew Miller - University of Illinios
- Dr. Richard Baird - Mississippi State University