Fungi, i.e. true fungi (Fungi) and fungus-like organisms, are highly diverse. According to the most recent edition of the Dictionary of the Fungi (Kirk et al. 2008), almost 100,000 species of fungi have been scientifically described, however, it is estimated that over 1.5 million of species exist! The number of known species of fungi is low due to the relatively small amount of research related to them. Large areas, especially in the tropics, have never been rigourously searched for fungi.
This is true for Panama where the Darién, most parts of the Azuero Peninsula, and large areas on the Caribbean side have never or rarely been visited by mycologists. As shown by the analysis of fungal records taken from approximately 300 different publications cited in the Preliminary Checklist of Fungi of Panama (Piepenbring 2006), fungi are relatively well known for the Panama Canal Zone (especially Barro Colorado Island), the province of Chiriquí, and Coiba Island. According to this first list, approximately 1800 species of fungi are known for Panama, possibly representing only 3 % of the existing diversity (Piepenbring 2007). A huge number of fungal species are still awaiting their discovery in the field, as well as additional records scattered in the scientific literature.
2006: The first checklist of Panamanian fungi is based on approximately 300 publications containing approximately 3,330 records. These records correspond to approximately 1,810 species and subspecific taxa in 646 genera.
2011: The present website is opened for public including the data of the first checklist and further records, in total 2,481 species of fungi cited in approximately 405 publications. It includes the data published in the book “Los hongos de Panamá”.
2013: The checklist is updated and enlarged by further analysis of more or less recent literature. It now comprises 2,772 records of species and subspecific taxa of fungi reported for Panama in 460 publications. It is now more complete notably concerning lichens of Panama and aquatic hyphomycetes.
2020: The checklist of fungi of Panama comprises a total of 3103 accepted species (validly published fungal names) and 960 names of synonyms (incl. doubtful and invalidly published species). The names were retrieved from a total of 517 publications. Distribution data were available for some, but not for all of the reported species. Most species have been reported from the Chiriquí province (1216 spp.), followed by Barro Colorado Island (BCI, 518 spp.), the Canal Zone (not BCI, 418 spp.), Coiba (328 spp.), Panama province (not BCI or Canal Zone, 269 spp.), Bocas del Toro province (231 spp.), Veraguas province (190 spp.), Coclé province (158 spp.), Colón province (121 spp.), Darien province (106 spp.), Panama Oeste province (not BCI or Canal Zone, 97 spp.), comarca Ngöbe Buglé (27 spp.), comarca Guna Yala (16 spp.), Los Santos province (8 spp.), and Herrera province (3 spp.).
Data provided by Tina Hofmann (Centro de Investigaciones Micológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí, UNACHI) and Meike Piepenbring (Goethe University, Germany), October 2020.
We thank Stephanie Samaniego and Alicia Sanjur from the Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Exactas, UNACHI for their support with data actualization and standardization.
Please note this about names of asexual forms of fungi (Fungi Imperfecti, mitosporic fungi, or anamorphs): As certain species of fungi develop different morphological characteristics in different developmental stages, the same organism may have received more than one name, one for the sexual form and one to several for forms of asexual growth. As it is a single organism, it is given a single “accepted name”. Asexual names are listed for technical reasons as “synonyms”. We do no wish to imply that we feel that these names should be demoted or ignored as they are highly useful and indispensable for daily work with fungi in the field, in the laboratory, and when consulting the literature. Many species of Fungi Imperfecti are not evidently linked to a sexual form and therefore are listed as Fungi Imperfecti.