Adelaide Fungal Studies Group Annual Report 2021-2022

AFSG Annual Report July 2021-July 2022

The AFSG has in the past year grown in membership and I have been impressed with the commitment of all the members to provide expertise to community groups in addition to providing expertise to AFSG forays, workshops and meetings.

As the convenor I have been fortunate in having the ongoing and ready support and expertise from Pam Catcheside, Teresa Lebel, Thelma Bridle, Helen Vonow, Julia Haska and Tijana Petrovic.

There is a growing interest in the community to learn more about fungi. Several of the AFSG members have been approached to provide expert input about fungi in their community programs. I consider these collaborations essential in furthering general understanding of fungi services to the ecosystem and to assist with conservation.

Peter Bos was approached by friends of Belair to lead 2 forays at Belair National park. Thelma continues to be asked to give presentations at U3A and the local Aldinga friends group. Tijana assisted with a foray for Friends of the Waite Conservation Park with the President Peter Bird. Teresa Lebel provided additional expertise for that foray. Ron and Teresa have assisted Friends of the Gums with community forays.

The AFSG is grateful to the generosity of the State Herbarium in allowing the AFSG to meet in the Goodman Lecture Theatre.

Coordinator of Fungimap Sophie Green has been instrumental in building participant capacity to use iNaturalist as a fungi identification tool. Sophie created an umbrella AFSG project on iNaturalist with sub-projects for each foray. This simplified the process of species collation for each foray site and enabled people to connect species to photos more easily.

The Fungimap Research Grant is an annual small grant open to citizen scientists and those building the capacity of fungi citizen science in Australia. It helps to cover the cost of citizen scientist research for Australia’s native fungi. AFSG congratulate 3 of its members who were successful in receiving research grants in 2022:

Tijana Petrovic for her project “Diversity of macrofungi in the Waite Nature Reserve”. Tijana seeks to investigate fungal genera/species including those that form ectomycorrhizal associations with various native tree species in two different habitats as well as exotic trees in the Waite Aboretum, their distribution, and possible shift in diversity. Tijana also plans to create brochures as an educational resource.

Jessica Bamford and Sam Whiting for their project “Analysis of Cortinarius in the Adelaide Hills”. Fully sponsored by Adelaide Hills Science Hub, this is a pilot study of 20 Cortinarius collections and a community workshop with Adelaide Hills Science Hub and Fungimap.

The year from July 21-July 22 there were 5 forays. Several forays were cancelled in 2021 due to Covid restrictions but in 2022 we were able to complete the foray program. It was fantastic as the convenor to have AFSG members volunteer to lead a foray in an area of individual interest and this then enabled the foray program to be varied showcasing a diversity of sites near Adelaide. The leaders were responsible for researching the site prior to the foray and each created an informative and enjoyable experience for participants.

July 2021

Dan Popping lead a foray in Horsnell Gully which was a new site for the group. The participants were treated to a beautiful location and special treats of coffee and cake provided by Dan.

Dan Popping also provided a PowerPoint of this foray which was shown at the following AFSG meeting enabling those unable to attend the foray an opportunity to experience the foray.

There was a good display of the coral and club fungi on the day and several Cortinarius species.

August 2021

Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, 15 August 2021.

Leaders: Anita Xian and Pam Catcheside. We had been rather concerned that the previous wet month may have led to flooding but, though the ground was soggy, the small lake that has often greeted us on past forays was merely a large puddle.  Pam, Anita and Teresa Lebel, whose expert help was much appreciated, were happy to answer the many questions posed by the enthusiastic group of 10 which included several new members.

Twenty-seven species of fungi were recorded. Amongst the 16 species of gilled fungi were four species of Webcaps, Cortinarius, so called because of the cobwebby covering of the immature gills, *Vermilion Grisette Amanita xanthocephala and the usual display of clusters of *Yellow Navel Lichenomphalia chromacea, on bare patches of soil. A rather old specimen of *Hairy Trumpet Panus fasciatus was one of the few new species for the Park; the bristly brown cap did not elicit much interest but the beautiful purple, decurrent gills were much admired. Ascomycetes included small bright orange discs of Pulvinula and stalked cups of *Stalked Orange-Peel Fungus, Sowerbyella rhenana. Tiny black domes of Annulohypoxylon bovei var. microsporum formed sheets on the undersides of shed bark, each of the fruit-bodies resembling miniature volcanoes with a whitish pore in their centres through which ascospores are released. A few small puffballs, Lycoperdon, grew amongst grass, most need microscopic examination of spores and other structures to identify to species. Although the variety of fungi was not as great as in some other years, they provided sufficient interest for a satisfying and enjoyable morning.

May 2022

Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens Foray

The first foray for 2022 attracted 24 participants and was led by Teresa Lebel. In 2022 Sophie Green from Fungimap had created a iNaturalist project link for each foray. During the year participants at the foray were encouraged to record their sightings on iNaturalist. This has created a record of images and species for each foray and the links distributed to AFSG members after each foray.

The Mt Lofty foray did not have the abundance of species as in previous years. Teresa was however able to provide extensive information about the sightings and answer general interest questions from participants.

Jenny Mealor arranged lunch following the foray which was well attended and enjoyed.

June 2022

Deep Creek Spring Wildflower Track

Sophie Green and Anita Xian were the leaders for this foray. There were 15 participants on the foray. This year the foray site was the Spring Wildflower Track which is a wide fire track and the weather was dry and calm. There was a diversity of fungi found in close proximity of the carpark so returning to the cars was very swift. Pam, Teresa, Tijana, and Thelma assisted with identification on the day, with 54 species found.

June 2022

Junior Field Naturalist Foray Belair

Julia Haska coordinated the Junior Field Naturalists event, arranging leaders from within AFSG to assist families locate and identify fungi. There was a high interest in the event and the event went well.


There were only 4 meetings during July 21-July 22 as Covid restrictions forced the cancellation of meetings in July 2021and August 2021. The situation in 2022 improved and the 2 meetings and 2 fungi identification workshops were able to go ahead.

In 2022 AFSG also commenced zoom presentations at the meetings. The zoom presentations enabled the AFSG to provide a diversity of speakers from Australia and overseas. AFSG plans to continue to offer members both the option of zoom at home or at the meeting.

AFSG Meeting September 2021

Julia Haska provided an informative presentation on the genus Amanita.

Julia stated that there were around 150 species of Amanita in Australia. In the presentation Julia provided the major features of the Amanita. The identification to species generally required microscopy and chemicals. Environmental features also impact Amanita features creating additional challenges with identification.

Julia has shown persistence and dedication in her pursuit of locating and understanding the distribution and diversity of Amanitas.

Artemiy Hussnain had been employed at the Mushroom Farm at Monarto. His presentation provided great insight into the cultivation and processing of mushroom commercially.

AFSG meeting November 2021

The speaker for the November meeting was Hayley Jose who is studying a PHD researching fungal spore dispersal by generalist mycophagous mammals in our Mt Lofty Region.

Hayley provided an informative and interesting presentation that generated lively discussion within the group.

Hayley stated that fungal spore dispersal by mammals occurs throughout Australia. There are a group of subterranean fungi such as truffles that rely on mammals for spore dispersal as they no longer possess the mechanism to disperse spores independently.

Hayley defined specialist mammals as those that have a diet with a high proportion of fungi. Generalist mammals have a more diverse diet with a lower proportion of fungi.

The Mt Lofty Region has lost specialist mammals so her research primarily considered generalist species in Native and Novel environments.

The research has concentrated on Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes), Bandicoot (Isodon obesulus) and marsupial mice (Antechinus Flavipes).

These animals all co-exist and they appear to have adapted well to novel environments. The results to date show the bush rat as the most effective in spore dispersal.

AFSG meeting /AGM March 1st 2022

The program for the year was discussed.

Sophie Green coordinator of Fungimap provided details of the iNaturalist foray projects and how participants could record fungi sightings at each foray.

The inaugural Fungimap research grants were discussed. These grants are open to citizen scientists and researchers building citizen science capacity. The purpose of research grants is to enable and promote citizen science research that improves knowledge for conservation of Australia’s macro-fungi.

AFSG Meeting May 2022

The first zoom for AFSG was a presentation by Dr Fran Guard who is currently completing a PHD at the Queensland Mycological Society.

The presentation was titled “Taxonomy and Systematics of the genus Marasmius in Australia and NZ”.

Marasmius is a species rich genus and the fruit bodies are small but robust.

Fran has through her work helped identify different groups of Marasmius using collections both past and present with new microscopy and DNA testing.

The presentation was excellent and showed clearly that Fran’s work will significantly expand the knowledge and understanding of the genus Marasmius.

Fungi Identification workshop June 2022

There were 2 Fungi identification workshops in June lead by Teresa Lebel and Pam Catcheside. The workshops were interactive and the feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. These workshops will be continued in 2023.

By Anita Xian, Convenor AFSG July 2021 – June 2022