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Waxcap Key : :

To make life easier when identifying Waxcap fungi we have created a printable version of the key - this can be taken with you to field sites so you can identify the fungi in situ.

Waxcap Key - Part 1 - Microsoft Word for Windows version - 38.0 KB
Waxcap Key - Part 2 - Microsoft Word for Windows version - 71.0 KB

Note: To use the key you need to download and print part 1 & 2 above:

Ecology and Diversity of Waxcap (Hygrocybe spp.) Fungi:

Written by Gareth W Griffith, Gary L. Easton & Andrew W. Jones
Institute of Biological Sciences,
University of Wales Aberystwyth,
SY23 3DA


Members of the genus Hygrocybe are ubiquitous and colourful components of many undisturbed and nutrient-poor grasslands in the UK. Through a number of detailed surveys of the distribution of Hygrocybe spp. and of genera showing similar patterns of occurrence (e.g. Clavaria spp., Entoloma spp., Geoglossum spp.) a picture is gradually emerging of the more important 'waxcap grassland' sites, and of those species in greatest need of protection. Waxcap fungi are far from ideal experimental organisms which explains why so little has been published about the biology and ecology.

They cannot be cultured on laboratory media and the correct conditions for inducing spores of most species to germinate have yet to be established. Nevertheless approaches such as isotope ratio mass spectrometry and the use of molecular biology techniques are beginning to provide an insight into the role played by these organisms in grassland ecosystems, and why they are so adversely affected by many agricultural practices. Current field experiments at various sites including Sourhope near Kelso will also permit investigations into waxcap ecology to be correlated with parallel studies of other members of the soil biota.

Download the full paper - Microsoft Word for Windows version - 5.0 MB

More downloads to be added soon....

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