Fungi are around 9% of Australia’s biodiversity but just 11,846 fungal species have so far been described out of an estimated 50,000 to 250,000 species.
Despite their importance, little is known about what Australian fungi exist or about their distribution, conservation status, or the complex interactions they may have with the flora and fauna.
In order to inform biodiversity conservation management, much more research is required in fungal taxonomy, ecology, biology, biogeography and phylogeny. Some examples of questions that need answering for science-based solutions to long-term management of ecosystem functions include:
- What and where fungi are found in Australia?
- Are the ranges of any species of fungi changing?
- What is the biology and ecology of individual fungal species?
- What levels and types of fungal diversity are needed for ecosystem health and function?
- How do fungi that have critical ecosystem functions disperse and spread in the current modified Australian landscape?
- How do current large-scale management tools – such as fire – affect the fungi and the connected functioning of ecosystems?