Happy New Year!

2019 was a good year for the Colorado Mycoflora Project. Through a lot of work and coordination between staff and volunteers, our workflows have increased efficiency in collecting and accessioning fungal specimens into the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi.

The rapid growth in the number of specimens accessioned can be seen in the chart below. In 2019 we saw an 85% increase in accessioned specimens (orange bars), totaling 1161 specimens. This number includes specimens from previous years as well as 2019. This might give you some idea of the backlog we struggle with. And to tell you the truth, there’s a lot more waiting.

Four years of progress collecting (gray bars) and accessioning (orange bars) macrofungal specimens for the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi.

The number of specimens collected in 2019 increased by approximately 23% over 2018. The number of 2019 specimens accessioned and in the MyCoPortal is 375, but add to this the specimens brought back from the Telluride Mushroom Festival – which have yet to be accessioned and published online (remember what I said about backlog) – and the total collected on the year equals 573. Of course, there are a number of additional specimens collected in 2019 that can also be added to this, but we will have to be patient in adding them as we continue to make progress on multiple fronts.

To check out the 375 collections accessioned on the MyCoPortal, you can look up the first 230 collections HERE, and the next 145 HERE. Who knows, some of these may be your collections!

As for the “multiple fronts” mentioned, 2020 is set to be a busy year. I have already shared how busy 2019 has been. Well remember what I said about backlog? In 2020 we’ll be working on that and hopefully in the next few years you’ll see those orange bars start leveling off soon to be followed by shrinking in the years that follow. Also, we soon will be moving into the new herbarium in the Freyer-Newman Center for Science, Art and Education. In addition, we have a number of manuscripts in the works. One analyzes metadata on what is known regarding the fungi in the Southern Rockies. We are also working with students at Rock Canyon High School who are sequencing Russula of the Southern Rockies as part of their senior project. Check out THEIR SITE and read their blog under “Updates”.

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