, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 195-205
Date: 24 Mar 2009

Gymnopilus maritimus (Basidiomycota, Agaricales), a new species from coastal psammophilous plant communities of northern Sardinia, Italy, and notes on G. arenophilus

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The new species Gymnopilus maritimus is described from coastal plant communities of Juncus maritimus, growing on sandy soil or on decaying plants, from northwestern Sardinia (Italy). The distinguishing features of G. maritimus are: (1) an unusual habitat, (2) robust basidiomata, (3) mild taste, and (4) big and strongly warted spores. The new species is compared with the micromorphologically similar species G. fulgens sensu auct. Brit. p.p. and the biogeographically and ecologically similar species G. arenophilus, as well as with other European species. A photograph of fresh material, drawings of the main micromorphological features, and FESEM and optical microscope microphotographs of basidiospores are added. Furthermore, some notes on micromorphological characters of G. arenophilus are presented and its distribution area enlarged with a record from France. A key for the European species of Gymnopilus morphologically, ecologically, and/or biogeographically related to G. maritimus is presented. The phylogeny inferred from ITS rDNA sequences revealed that G. maritimus represents an independent species and that it is not related to G. arenophilus or G. fulgens. It is the sister group of the clade containing G. imperialis and G. spectabilis, but with a bootstrap support below 50%. The characters shared by the species in this clade are: (1) robust basidiomata, (2) pileus fibrillose or scaly-fibrillose, and (3) spores longer than 8 µm, dextrinoid and strongly warted. Gymnopilus imperialis and G. spectabilis differ by the basidiomata with membranous ring in the stem, living on conifers or decaying wood, and having narrower or wider spores, respectively.