Until a few decades ago, knowledge of wild edible and poisonous mushrooms was widespread. Especially the older population knew about the seasonal occurrence of the mushrooms. Finding mushrooms is a popular hobby for young and old, which is accompanied by great experience. In order to preserve and extend this knowledge and above all to bring it closer to the younger generation, the Mushroom Finder is now available. Due to the global warming of the last few years, the occurrence of mushrooms and the species spectrum is increasingly shifting. The consequences of global warming affect especially higher altitudes. Many fungal species have dispersal and adaptation strategies to respond to climate change, but there is a direct threat to arctic-alpine fungal species. Distribution records from different European countries show that the mushroom season is prolonged as a result of global warming, i.e. fungal fruit bodies today appear over a longer period of the year. The time of appearance is also often shifted further back in the course of the year. With the active assistance of the Mushroom Finder, these changes in the fungal world can now be recorded and incorporated into scientific evaluations, because mushrooms react immediately to the changing temperature development.
Within the framework of this project, Citizen Scientists collect fungal and phenological data. Via Pilzfinder the scientifically founded data are transferred to the "Database of Fungi of Austria" of the "Austrian Mycological Society" with the next update. The project Pilzfinder aims to comprehensively document the occurrence and distribution of fungi in Austria and beyond and to present and evaluate the available data. By comparing the distribution data, correlations between the temperature profile and the occurrence of the fungal species can be researched and thus the effects of climate change can be analysed.
With the Mushroom Finder you can actively contribute to the survey of the occurrence and distribution of the fungi by observing and photographing. On request, we are happy to provide reports for non-commercial purposes, of course also for the reporters themselves. All scientific results are published in open access/and peer-reviewed journals. There will also be an annual report on the reports in the "Mitteilungen der Österr. Mykolog. Ges.".
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