Both the diversity and the distribution of Minnesota macrofungi are still very imperfectly known. 9000 species of fungi are expected to occur in Minnesota, based on the number of vascular plant species native to the state and the ratio of fungi to vascular plants for well documented parts of Europe.
New county distribution records of macrofungi are readily obtained by collectors, but major range extensions, including first reports of species for North America, or undescribed species may be collected or determined through study of the herbarium collections. Thus, this database is intended as an aid to documenting the fungi of Minnesota, and not as the final word on Minnesota fungal diversity.
Minnesota is one of only a few states that have declared a state mushroom. The morel mushroom is considered a rare delicacy by mushroom hunters, and is now available in some grocery stores. A paper published in late 2012 has revealed that the diversity of morels in North America is much greater than previously suspected, so while Morchella esculenta is officially listed as the state mushroom, the term "morel" actually represents several edible species found in Minnesota.
Biogeographic studies of mushrooms or macrofungi are still at an early stage in their development. Minnesota contains a number of macrofungi with limited distributions, including several midwestern endemics, as well as three species presently known only from the state, Psathyrella cystidiosa, Psathyrella rhodospora, and Suillus weaverae. These species and several other mushrooms that are rare or occur in sensitive habitats are on Minnesota’s List of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species.
Several management areas have been moderately well explored for fungi: Afton State Park, Cloquet Forestry Center, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Itasca State Park, and Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, but no area in the state has been fully explored for macrofungi.
David McLaughlin, Curator of Fungi
Department of Plant Biology
University of Minnesota
1445 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul MN 55108-1095