Mycologists have collected an astonishing number of previously unknown fungi on peaks across the country, hinting that Scotland’s hills may be a haven for many more undiscovered species. Of nearly 300 different species found, 28 are unique and 34 never before found in the UK.
But Dr Andy Taylor, a fungi specialist from the James Hutton Institute (JHI), is warning that this bounty is in imminent danger of vanishing before it can be properly studied. “We’ve found species new to Scotland, new to the UK and species that are undescribed so they’re new to science,” he said. “Fungi in general are under-recorded, but what amazed us was the number of undescribed species.
“We’ve got, minimum, 28 new species. It’s just crazy as this is only from 23 sites, and if you consider the hundreds of potential sites in Scotland it’s staggering.
“There’s this hidden diversity that nobody knows about.”