miked's picture

Try out the South African site for some more fungi and lichens

The link below takes you to the south african version of ispot with fungi selected.
http://za.ispot.org.uk/browse_observations?group_nid[]=8&uid=&date_filter_op=between&date_filter[value][date]=&date_filter[min][date]=&date_filter[max][date]=
(you may need to copy and paste this link into your browser if it does not automatically work)
They would like a little help with identifying some of the species. Take care of course because this is a completely different part of the world with a different range of species, however some of the species or genera are the same as in UK. They have a bit of a shortage of local fungi experts at the moment so would value our help. Even if you don't think you can give an ID its still interesting just to look at the range of species showing up there.

South africa is the only other part of the world with its own separate ispot site.

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synan's picture

Had a look

Hi Mike

I've been aware of the South African site for a while, and I've had a look. There are a few lichens there that I could confidently identify and a lot more that I could have a bold stab at, but only if they were in the UK. Knowing a species means knowing all the lookalikes - eg

http://za.ispot.org.uk/node/134157?nav=related

... looks like Lobaria pulmonaria to me, but I don't know whether or not there are near-identical Lobaria species in South Africa. I'm an amateur, but I think the same logic would deter experts unless they were familiar with the global lichen flora.

I think it's the same uncertainty that fuels the demand for a country filter in the plants category.

Edit: I was about to have a go anyway, but it seems I'd have to register as a new user there. That's a hurdle in itself.

Nigel

miked's picture

I am registered on that site

I am registered on that site with same username and password as the uk site (I had to register there but just used uk details). Its likely both sites will be amalgamated at some stage in future but not for many months at earliest.

It is tricky doing ID in other country, whether to try to go to species or just genus (or just family) and what level of confidence to use. Hopefully once more people start using it there then more experts will join in, not that there are many experts there anyway to join. here what has happened in some groups is that some id's have been given then an expert has eventually joined and gone back and looked at the observations again to check.

synan's picture

Joined

Well, I have signed up - some very interesting species there! I didn't realise there were only 2 pages in the Fungi & Lichens group, though. IDs are tricky. I hope what I have contributed is helpful. I certainly have a greater understanding of the lack of resources there. I've been awarded a knowledgeable badge, but it should be revoked: I know nothing about South African plants, fungi or lichens.

miked's picture

I suspect Tony gave you the

I suspect Tony gave you the badge in fungi group as it needs some people with reputation to get the system going. Its a tricky one, don't want to give misleading informaiton but do want to get the system started. Hopefully local experts will join and local people will start to learn more about fungi and lichens by using ispot but also by using books and other conventional means once they become enthusiastic. An alternative might be just to give comments as to what you think the species might be based on uk knowledge and leave it more up to the local people there to check with their lichen or fungi books and them put in the ID.

synan's picture

Books

The problem is that they don't have field guides or web resources specific to South Africa, and are having to rely on European guides. Hopefully the situation will improve.