UKTC Archive

Re: Fungi and tree growth - more important than weather.

Subject: Re: Fungi and tree growth - more important than weather.
From: Jerry Ross
Date: Jan 17 2022 14:13:28
The move to bring in the 3rd F started in Chile and was very much an international effort, not about UK law at all, albeit from what you say, that needs to be reformed/updated. But the introduction of 'Funga' was to generally raise the awareness of the critical importance of fungi by equating them with the widely used general terms Flora and Fauna. See this, from

"/Species conservation on a global scale commonly refers to living macroscopic organisms as Fauna and Flora, with the total omission of fungi or any microscopic organisms. Nevertheless, countries like Chile have taken pioneering steps towards an ecosystem view of nature through the incorporation of kingdom //Fungi//in public policy (República de Chile 2010: Par. 4, Arts. 37–38). This has given the country effective protection of plants, animals, and fungi, but other countries’ legislation mentions only Fauna and Flora and sometimes microorganisms, or refers to “wildlife” — which to many equates to vertebrates. By the omission of fungi, these organisms so critical to the maintenance of healthy ecosystem processes, are unrecognized and unrepresented.The international acceptance of the recognition of the macroscopic organisms of Earth as Fauna, Flora, and Funga paves the way for substantial changes in educational and agricultural policies, amongst others. This will facilitate the incorporation of mycology in matters of national interest, such as conservation, habitat protection, species protection, and education./"

(By rights I daresay they should add Protista - but I suspect that would only confuse your average Juan and Juanita.) (Besides, it doesn't start with an 'f')

On 17/01/2022 12:52, wrote:
Jon- The term 'funga' is not claimed as a 'kingdom' any more than flora and 
fauna are. The woman on the program gave a presentation in the arb. 
Association fungus symposium a few months ago. It's all about getting fungi 
included in legislation which has previously been limited to protecting 
'flora and fauna';


I haven't had a chance to listen/watch any programmes but you may be 
interested to know that whilst Science may have moved on, the law has not: it 
is not restricted to flora and fauna but does appear to use all embracing 
terms animals and plants.

My copy of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Schedule 8 lists "Plants which 
are protected". These include a section on Non Vascular Plants, 5 of which are 
fungi (including the oak polypore) and around 29 are lichens.

Whilst s.13 defines  what is prohibited (pick, uproot, destroy and 
selling/advertising the sale) and this looks more plant than fungus focused, 
the reality of how law as a tool works has to be taken into account. If the 
fungus is well and truly inbedded in substrate it seems unlikely that someone 
picking a toadstool could be prosecuted for destroying a fungus. Picking yes 
and selling/advertising yes.

So why aren't more fungal species on the list? The JNCC is responsible for 
updating the list (s.24(1), every 5 years apparently). It's up to them as to 
what is on the list. The law does not prevent the list getting longer. 
Perhaps politicians might but we don't know that.


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