A selection of photos of macrofungi we recorded during fieldwork during Autumn 2017 is shown below. Most of the photos were taken in Keeper Hill SAC, Co Tipperary and in the River Shannon Callows SAC.
Fungi are a very important and interesting group and are key indicators of habitat health. They are one of the most diverse groups of organisms in Europe, with at least 75k species. Of these more than 15k species are macrofungi (i.e. visible to the naked eye). Despite their diversity and importance they are poorly understood and appreciated compared to plants and animals.
The national red-list evaluations indicate that up to 10-20% of European macrofungi may be threatened
Fungi are the primary decomposers of organic material in many ecosystems and play a key part in recycling nutrients. Unfortunately the abundance and diversity of fungi has declined greatly in our countryside. The causes of the decline in fungi include unsuitable forest management, agricultural intensification and air pollution.
The threats to macrofungi are starting to be considered and most European countries (including Ireland) have now produced fungal Red-Lists. More than 5,500 different macrofungi are red-listed in at least one European country. The national red-list evaluations indicate that up to 10-20% of European macrofungi may be threatened. This has resulted in the identification and designation of protected areas, development of species action programmes, inclusion in monitoring programmes, and production of management guidelines.