Macrofungal diversity in the Western Ghats, Kerala, India: members of Russulaceae

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C. Mohanan


A macrofungal biodiversity inventory carried out in different forest ecosystems viz., west coast tropical evergreen forests, west coast tropical semi-evergreen forests, south Indian moist deciduous forests, southern subtropical broadleaved hill forests, southern montane wet temperate forests (shola forests), southern tropical dry deciduous forests, grasslands, Myristica swamp forests, and forest plantations falling in different forest divisions in the Western Ghats, Kerala employing opportunistic as well as fixed-size plot sampling methods from 2006-2011 yielded several rare and hitherto unrecorded macrofungi. In Russulaceae 15 species of macrofungi belonging to the genera Russula and Lactarius were recorded. Of these, 12 species of Russula viz. Russula aciculocystis, R. adusta, R. atropurpurea, R. cinerella, R. congoana, R. delicula, R. hygrophytica, R. luteotacta, R. mariae, R. martinica, R. michiganensis and R. periglypta and white coloured latex exuding Lactarius nebulosus are new records for the Western Ghats. All the Russulaceae members exhibit an ectomycorrhizal association with tree species like Hopea ponga, H. parviflora, Myristica malabarica, Vateria indica, Calophyllum apetalaum, among others.

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