Clovis Douanla-Meli:

Fungi of Cameroon

Ecological diversity with emphasis on the taxonomy of Non-gilled Hymenomycetes from the Mbalmayo forest reserve

2007. VIII, 410 pages, 172 figures, 17 tables, 14x23cm, 750 g
Language: English

(Bibliotheca Mycologica, Band 202)

ISBN 978-3-443-59104-5, paperback, price: 89.00 €

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Fungi Cameroon non-gilled Hymenomycetes Mbalmayo forest reserve mycoflora macrofungi


Synopsis top ↑

Fungi of Cameroon is a contribution towards assessing the current macrofungal diversity associated with the ecosystems of Cameroon's southern forests, and evaluates the impact of deforestation and slash-and-burn on fungal communities and tracks the occurrence and changes to the fungal communities through the seasonal climatic variations (rainfall).

During three forays in different seasons, more than seven-hundred fungal samples were collected, all of which are described and characterised. 78% of these were basidiomycetes, while ascomycetes accounted for 21% of the samples. The identification of about 85% of all collected specimens with modern mycotaxonomic techniques has yielded a total of 271 distinct species, belonging to 110 genera in 58 families. The volume provides compiled keys at the family, genus and species level, followed by micro- and macromorphological descriptions of different taxa, providing data on habitat, local and worldwide distribution where available. A full description is provided fore each species, supported by reliable line-drawings and often SEM images for ornamented basidiospores.

The overall recorded species were new to the Mbalmayo forest reserve, while 75 of the described species were new to Cameroon, and eleven new mycobiota were described, plus one combination. The greatest fungal diversity was observed in forest stands, declining towards fallows and cropland. A distinct reduction of the diversity of wood and litter-dependent fungal species can be observed where land conversion takes place which is a definite threat to fungal species. As expected, seasonal variations fundamentally influence and govern the fruition and composition of the fungal communities studied.

Review: Austrian Journal of Mycology 16, 2007, p. 291-292 top ↑

The book on Cameroon Fungi is the impressive result of a PhD study at the university of Kassel. Contents: 1. General introduction: history of Cameroon mycological studies, geographical, climatological, vegetation and acricultural data; 2. Ethnomycology in the Mbalmayo forest reserve; 3. Ecology and phenological patterns of macrofungi in the study area; 4. Taxonomic studies of non-gilled hymenomycetes; 5. Comparison of macrofungal flora in explored areas of Cameroon forests; 6. Discussion and conclusion. References. Indices.

The main part is the taxonomical treatment of non-gilled hymenomycetes found in the forest reserve of Mbalmayo. 140 species of Aphyllophorales, Gasteromycetes and heterobasidiomycetes are included: 11 gasteromycetes, 10 heterobasidiomycetes, 9 clavarioid fungi, 19 steroid fungi, 10 lentinoid fungi, 6 ganodermoid fungi, 14 Hymenochaetaceae and 61 Polyporaceae are documented. After an introduction into methods (incl. SEM and molecular biological identification where necessary) and characters used keys are presented to families, genera and species, respectively based on the samples found in the forest reserve. The species are thoroughly described in detail with macro- and microscopical characters, data on ecology, distribution and remarks. Every species is illustrated by line drawings of the main characters and additionally some with habit photographs and SEM pictures of spores, when these are ornamented. The arrangement reminds of the numerous publications by Leif RYVARDEN, who in fact made his huge expertise available to the author and collaborated in this study.

The analysis is based on transsects in three different seasons. The three surveys resulted in ca. 700 samples, 78 % basidiomycetes, 21 % ascomycetes. More than 271 species belonging to 110 genera in 58 families are recognised. Among the described species 75 taxa were new to Cameroon. Eleven species are described as new to science, one new combination is made.

Besides the taxonomic interest the author documents the macrofungal diversity in southern Cameroon forests, investigates ethnomycological knowledge in and around the forest reserve, studies macrofungal communities, their diversity and distribution in different land use types due to agriculture and forestry following a gradient of increasing disturbance, studies the impact of seasonal variations on macrofungal communities occurrence and abundance. The ecological and coenological data out of the study can be used to develop conservation strategies and management programmes for a sustainable use of the resource macrofungi in rainforest ecosystems.

Fungi of Cameroon is a high quality book. It is of interest for nature conservationists and a must for every mycologist interested in tropical non-gilled hymenomycetes.


Austrian Journal of Mycology 16, 2007, p. 291-292

Review: Inoculum 60(2) top ↑

This commendable effort characterizes the nongilled Hymenomycetes in Cameroon and represents the doctoral thesis (University Kassel) of the author. The printing quality is excellent and the English translation more than adequate. The research is based on three separate collecting trips made in Cameroon during different rainy/dry seasons. It focuses on fungal diversity in areas with various amounts of plant cover—primary forests to cropland.

The book is well organized with keys to major groups and then to genera within families. Each species is described by clear text and line drawings of microscopic features. For many species there are excellent photographs of macroscopic and microscopic characteristics. Some of these are taken with the SEM. The smaller than usual print size packs more information into a given space. The taxonomic breakdown is quoted as follows: “Gasteromycetes, 8%; Heterobasidiomycetes, 7%; Clavarioid fungi, 6.5%; Stereoid fungi, 13.5%; Lentioid fungi, 7%; Ganodermoid fungi, 4%; Hymenochaetoid fungi, 10%; and the Polyporaceae and allied fungi, 44%.” Eleven new or recently described species are included. A Latin description is given for three of these in this volume, viz. Clavulina arcuatus, Lentaria acuminata, and Pterula hyphoides. The others were first published elsewhere. Also, Phylloporia resupinatus is included as a provisional name and Scytinopogon parvus becomes a new combination. The paint and tooth fungi were beyond the scope of this volume.

With relentless deforestation and diminished biodiversity occurring around the world, this volume provides a lesson as well as a good foundation for further taxonomic studies in Africa and in the tropics. The book is reasonably priced and is recommended for botanical/ mycological centers, university libraries and taxonomic specialists who work on the above fungal groups.

—Ed Setliff

Inoculum 60(2), April 2009

Review: Mycotaxon vol. 107, 2009 top ↑

This publication is an extremely inspirational document, though sometimes it has rather quaint phraseology, which makes the reader stop and read again for clarity.

The main part of the book (289 pp.) comprises excellent descriptions of the non-gilled hymenomycetes found along eight plotless transects of 1000 x 20 m in four land-use types (near primary lowland forest, old-growth secondary forest, cleared areas with fallow of different stages and cropland) within the Mabalmayo forest reserve, situated in southern central Cameroon. All are supported by clear and effective line drawings and keys. There are 140 species described including 11 gasteromycetes (Birds’ nest fungi and one stinkhorn) and 10 jelly fungi; 11 new species are described and a single new combination is made; and 75 are new records for Cameroon. The classification adopted is primarily on macro-morphology, using such groupings as stereoid fungi. stipitate stereoids, clavarioid fungi, etc. Such a treatment is useful, although it does not reflect natural groupings now revealed by molecular studies. This section is where the non-gilled part of the title is evident but the ‘topping and tailing’ of this descriptive data is full of equally important information. Although the full title is explanatory, I doubt whether the reader realises when opening the book what a mine of information there is between the pages, and so full appreciation of the work involved may not at first be appreciated. There is certainly more to this volume other than non-gilled forms, as information on such topics as the distribution and ecology of agarics and larger ascomycetes are also addressed. I was amazed at the fundamental differences between the mycological constituents of transects I have made and the author’s, as these were in areas not that distant from one another in Cameroon. However, explanations are offered for this and the fall off in mycodiversity between woodland areas, arable ones, etc.

The physical, climatic, and anthropogenic factors of the area are covered adequately, and the historical account of earlier collecting in Cameroon is an excellent distillate, appealing to a wider audience. I do, however, seriously wonder whether the taxonomic part should have been published separately from the details on collecting, monitoring, assessing mycodiversity, gathering meaningful ethnomycological data, and applying statistically sound techniques for analysis, as these include groups other than the non-gilled forms. Those accounts would be extremely valuable brought together as a separate publication as they would be of benefit to anyone collecting in the tropics, and not just Africa. Indeed, they should be read by all venturing into these parts of the world wishing to carry out mycological work. Perhaps this could be produced as part of the proposed extended project.

This is a well-documented publication worthy of the efforts of a wellseasoned mycologist, let alone just the subject of a thesis. 700 samples were analysed, 70 % basidiomycetes and 21 % ascomycetes. The time spent over all aspects covered must have meant the author spending many, many hours of the day collecting, identifying, and mulling over the finds. It was truly a labour of love – in all, 271 different fungi covering all groups were identified.

Roy Watling

Mycotaxon vol. 107, 2009

Review: PERSOONIA vol. 21 (December 2008) top ↑

This book describes in detail the Aphyllophorales of the Mbalmayo forest reserve in Cameroon. 271 species have been recognised, including eleven being new to science. Keys are given to families, genera and species, as well as detailed descriptions and line drawings, habit and distributions data, as well as taxonomic notes. This work provides many new data from the African continent, where this kind of meticulous and detailed studies on Aphyllophorales are very much needed.

PERSOONIA vol. 21 (December 2008)

Contents top ↑

1 Thesis research overview 3
2 Historical overview on the study of Cameroon mycoflora 4
3.1 Outline of physical settings 8
3.1.1 Geography and relief 8
3.1.2 Climate 8
3.1.3 Vegetation 8
3.2 Local communities, land use and socio-economic activities 12
1 Introduction 14
2 Methodology 14
3 Results and comments 15
1 Introduction 19
2 Material and Methods 19
2.1 Material 19
2.2 Methods 19
2.2.1 Collecting sites and sampling design 19
2.2.2 Survey methods, treatment and preservation of specimens 21
2.2.3 Data analysis 22
3 Diversity and ecology of macrofungi communities 22
3.1 Saprotrophic lignocellulolytic fungi on litter and woody substrata 22
3.2 Saprotrophic terricolous and saprotrophic humicolous fungi 25
3.3. Phenicoid species 27
3.4 Seminicolous species 29
3.5 Diversity of mycorrhizal species 29
4 Fungal diversity and forest disturbance 30
4.1 Introduction 30
4.2 Results 30
4.3 Discussion 32
5 Macrofungi diversity and seasonal variation 34
5.1 Results 34
5.2 Discussion 34
1 Introduction 39
2 Methods 42
2.1 Description of macromorphological characters 42
2.1.1 Development and shape of basidiomata 43
2.1.2 Size and colour 43
2.1.3 Basidiomata cover and consistency 44
2.1.4 Hymenophore and basidiospore bearing surface 45
2.2 Study of micromorphological characters 45
2.2.1 Chemical reagents and histological reactions 45
2.2.2 Microscopic preparations 46
2.2.3 Light microscopy and line drawings 47
2.2.4 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) 47
2.2.5 Relevant microscopic characters 47 Hyphae and hyphal system 47 Generative hyphae 47 Vegetative hyphae 49 Sterile structures 50 Cystidia and allied elements 50 Setal elements and gloeocystidia 50 Basidia 52 Asexual spores 55 Chlamydospores 55 Conidia 55 Hyphal pegs 55
2.3 Identification with aid of molecular data 57
3 Taxonomic part 59
3.1 Keys 59
3.1.1 Key to groups 59
3.1.2 Key to families 59
3.1.3 Key to genera 62
3.2 Gasteromycetes 67
3.3 Heterobasidiomycetes 85
3.4 Aphyllophorales 100
3.4.1 Clavarioid fungi 100
3.4.2 Stereoid fungi 123 Stipitate stereoid fungi 123 Non-stipitate stereoid fungi 150
3.4.3 Schizophylloid fungi 162
3.4.4 Polyporales 164 Lentinoid fungi 164 Ganodermataceae 184 Hymenochaetaceae 197 Polyporaceae and allied families 224
3.5 Systematic and geographical distributions of described species 349
1 General discussion 356
1.1 Macrofungal survey aftermath in ethnomycology and fungal knowledge
of tribal peoples 356
1.2 Macrofungi monitoring in forested areas and choice of sampling
protocol 356
1.3 High indexation of macrofungal richness and diversity to physical
settings 358
1.4 Technical hurdles spelling out the relinquishment in surveying some African
fungal groups 360
1.5 Overcoming the shortage of local illustrated literature on
mycoflora 361
1.6 Controversial contribution of molecular methods to taxonomy 361
2 Conclusion and future challenges 369