Internationally recognized mushroom researcher Bart Buyck recently visited the East Texas woods to contribute to inventory work conducted through the Thicket of Diversity All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory.
Working with Bart is Valerie Hofstetter of the Department of Plant Protection at Agroscope in Nyon, Switzerland.
Buyck obtained his Ph.D in 1989 at the University of Gent, Belgium.
received the Augustin Pyramus de Candolle prize of the Academy of Natural Sciences
in Geneva, Switzerland.
He continued his research in Belgium and Central Africa and since 1996 joined the Laboratoire de Cryptogamie of the National Natural History Museum in Paris, France.
There he serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Systematics and Evolution where he is also curator of the Mycology Herbarium.
has collected edible and ectomycorrhizal mushrooms on several continents for more than 30 years and is especially interested in one particular group of mushrooms, Russula.
With distinctive umbrella shaped caps on stems, these fungi are commonly found in the major types of forests on earth.
This mushroom genus was first described in 1796, and over 750 species have been identified to date, yet most Russulas still remain undescribed and Buyck
estimates the number of different Russula species in the United States alone to be likely as much as 1,500.
Russula mushrooms are not easy to identify and distinguishing individual species usually involves observation of its microscopic characteristics or a taste test.
Bart's work includes the development of a software program, ALLRUS
, to assist in the identification and classification of Russula.
Most members of this fleshy fungi group are edible, but some can cause gastrointestinal symptoms when eaten raw or undercooked.
is also a world authority on the genus Cantharellus and described 5 new species of chanterelles from East Texas, including Cantharellus texensis, a species that was originally described from the Lance Rosier Unit of the Big Thicket National Preserve
According to the Big Thicket Association
(BTA) website, Bart Buyck
is one of 3 scientists who described a rare, new species to science in 2008 for the Big Thicket
, Russula texensis.
Bart Buyck & Valerie Hofstetter at Jack Gore Baygall Unit, Big Thicket National Preserve 6/27/2014