Current status of aquatic fungi conservation

In the last years, the importance of conserving fungi, freshwaters, and freshwater fungi specifically has come into focus.

In 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) formally adopted the term “funga” for use with flora and fauna to support inclusion of fungi into conservation planning and policy.

A year later, The Alliance for Freshwater Life identified the monitoring of aquatic fungi as a matter of priority to inform sustainable management and conservation of freshwaters. These actions created a momentum for the start of the aquatic fungi conservation era.

Conidia of an aquatic hyphomycete species (Lemonniera centrosphaera).
Photo.: Andreas Bruder

Pure cultures of different aquatic fungi on agar.
Photo: Isabel Fernandes

Aquatic Fungal Biodiversity

Funaction brings together scientists and conservationists from Europe and the USA in a transnational consortium to enhance understanding of aquatic fungi diversity and devise conservation strategies.