Masters Thesis

Systematics of Clavulina (Cantharellales, Basidiomycota) from the Guiana Shield

This study is a systematic assessment of eleven species of ectomycorrhizal fungi from the genus Clavulina (Clavulinaceae, Cantharellales, Basidiomycota) from the interior rainforests of the central Guiana Shield. Additionally, the presence of the resupinate habit in the Clavulinaceae is addressed. Each chapter is a manuscript that has been published in or submitted to professional mycological journals, with a citation available just under the title on the first page. Collections of these fungi were made, examined, and compared to literature documenting diversity in this group. Eight of the eleven species were deemed to be new and given full formal taxonomic descriptions. These included macroscropic descriptions of dimensions, colors, branching patterns, habit and habitat information, microscopic measurements of taxonomically informative structures, drawings of these features, and accompanying molecular sequence data to confirm the correct generic placement. The newly described taxa included Clavulina kunmudlutsa, Clavulina tepurumenga, Clavulina effusa, Clavulina cinereoglebosa, Clavulina cerebriformis, Clavulina guyanensis, Clavulina rosiramea, and Clavulina pakaraimensis. Range distribution amendments were provided for Clavulina amazonensis, Clavulina sprucei, and Clavulina cirrhata. A dichotomous key to the Clavulina species in the lowland Neotropics and a phylogenetic assessment for this group using ribosomal DNA and nuclear protein coding genes were provided. Finally, the biogeography and systematics of the poorly known resupinate genus Membranomyces (Clavulinaceae) were addressed using molecular data.