Donald H. Pfister
Curator of the Farlow Library and Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany
Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany
Topic: Diversity in the Pezizomycetes and Orbiliomycetes
These two classes of Ascomycota offer examples of ways of thinking about species diversity and some of the factors that come to play in detailed studies of fungi. In some cases collecting in habitats that have not been well explored reveal hidden diversity; in other cases a failure to recognize significant morphological characters has led to under estimates of diversity. Use of molecular sequence data has help to resolve some of these questions. Using several examples of fungi both large and small a picture emerges of why the numbers of fungi have been so regularly underestimated.