ISSN 1188-603X

No. 409 June 17, 2009 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: Jim Ginns - email: (with thanks to Dr. Scott Redhead for comments)

For the photo of Dr. Bob Bandoni see:

Robert (Bob) Bandoni was born November 9, 1926 in Weeks, Nevada to Giuseppe and Albina Bandoni, and graduated from high school in Hawthorne, Nevada. Awarded a Ph. D. from the University of Iowa in 1957, Bob in 1958 joined the Botany faculty at the University of British Columbia. He was an integral part of that department for 50 years and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus in 1989.

In addition to teaching and supervising graduate and undergraduate students, he was a major contributor to student textbooks. In 1965 six UBC faculty members (Robert F. Scagel, Robert J. Bandoni, Glenn E. Rouse, W.B. Schofield, Janet R. Stein, and T.M.C. Taylor) collaborated to publish Plant diversity: An evolutionary approach; a book that put the Botany Department onto the North American textbook bestseller list for almost a decade. And in 1982 R.F. Scagel, R.J. Bandoni, J.R. Maze, G.E. Rouse, W.B. Schofield, and J.R. Stein published the 570 page textbook Nonvascular plants: An evolutionary survey.

To raise the awareness of fungi in the general public in 1964 he co-authored with Adam Szczawinski a field guide titled Guide to common mushrooms of British Columbia. It was revised and enlarged to 242 pages in 1976. In the 1970s he helped found the Vancouver Mycological Society. And he played a major role in the publication of two books on Thailand mushrooms in 1996 and 2002 (see

Bob was a mycologist with broad interests. His principal research interest was a group of fungi commonly referred to as the "Jelly Fungi" (Basidiomycetes: Heterobasidiomycetes). His early research papers were of a classical taxonomy nature, i.e., descriptions of the macro- and micro-morphology via the light microscope.

In the early 1970s Bob diverged from the Jelly Fungi to investigate with colleagues the aquatic fungi occurring in terrestrial habitats publishing a landmark paper in Science (183: 1079-1081. 1972) with his student R. Koske on dispersal. He returned to this topic in 1985 and in collaboration with L. Marvanová at the Czechoslovak Collection of Microorganisms published several papers that proposed a new genus and several new species.

For over a decade beginning about 1980 Bob, Franz Oberwinkler and his colleagues at the Universität Tübingen collaborated to produce over 20 papers on the Jelly Fungi and their allies. No only did they describe a number of new species and new genera, but proposed several new families and orders. Furthermore they employed the latest techniques (SEM, TEM) to evaluate the taxonomic significance of septal pore structures, demonstrate parasitism between Jelly Fungi and other fungi, and begin to revise the classical phylogenetic scheme.

Some of the Jelly Fungi produce a yeast stage (in the Tremellales nearly all species have a yeast stage). Such a stage and the characters of its cells can be useful in identifying collections. Bob grew many fungi on nutrient agar in the laboratory and there the yeasts could be studied. For his interest in yeast stages of Basidiomycetes he became a contributor to several editions of The Yeasts, a taxonomic study.

As his experience expanded Bob began to rethink the traditional circumscription of some genera and reevaluate the taxonomic significance of some characters. One result was the publication of three major studies dealing with revisions to the higher levels, i.e., Orders and Class, of the Jelly Fungi. First was a consideration of the relationships between genera, i.e., phylogeny, and he proposed an alternative classification for two of the major orders of the Jelly fungi (Trans. Mycol. Soc. Japan 25: 489-530. 1984). Then in a symposium titled The expanding realm of yeast-like fungi he presented a detailed discussion of the Tremellales and the features that characterize the reconfigured order (Studies in Mycology 30: 87-110, 1987). Finally, Bob co-authored with Ken Wells a chapter titled Heterobasidiomycetes (in D. McLaughlin, E. McLaughlin, P.A. Lemke (eds.) 2001. The Mycota VII Part B: 85-120) brought together the last 40 years of taxonomic progress in the Jelly Fungi.

These paragraphs are abbreviated highlights in Bob's career. He never lost his interest in the fungi. When I last met with him in February he had just finished editing the introduction for the next edition of The Yeasts, a taxonomic study and was enthusiastically discussing several in-progress projects.

A recent note from a colleague stated "He was one of my heroes and one of the last of his breed. He will be missed."


From: Joe Ammirati (includes observations of Joshua Birkebak and Luke Bayler)

Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch., the cause of white pine blister rust, was introduced into eastern North America in about 1900 and into British Columbia in 1910. It soon became well established on a number of native white pines and since that time has been considered a destructive forest pathogen. This is an instance where a plant pathogen was introduced onto a continent and established itself in natural ecosystems where susceptible hosts, white pines and species of Ribes, were available to complete its life cycle. It invaded forests of North America!

So, are there examples of mushrooms that have been introduced into the Puget Sound Regions, and have become established in natural habitats? Records in the Burke Museum fungus herbarium at the University of Washington indicate that several mushrooms have been introduced into urban gardens where they tend to persist in rich and woody substrates: Melanoleuca verrucipes (Fr.) Singer in wood chip and lawns, Conocybe aurea (Jul. Schäff.) Hongo, typically in compost, and Leratiomyces ceres (Cooke & Massee) Spooner & Bridge, in wood chips, are a few examples that fit this category. So far as we are aware these mushrooms have not become established in natural habitats. In addition, species of ectomycorrhizal mushrooms such as Amanita phalloides (Vaill. ex Fr.) Link, have been found in various places in Seattle but again have not moved into forests here. This is in contrast to the situation in the California Bay Region where this species has become naturalized in oak and mixed forests.

Presently we have two mushrooms, Gymnopus peronatus (Bolton) Antonín, Halling & Noordel. and Leucocoprinus brebissonii (Godey) Locq., both decomposers, which have become naturalized in the Puget Sound Region. Based on recent observations and a study of herbarium specimens, both of these species are recent recruits to the forests in the Puget Sound lowlands. During the summer months both can be commonly collected throughout the area, with Gymnopus peronatus being the most conspicuous of the two because of its tough, persistent fruit bodies. It is unknown as to exactly when or how these two mushrooms were established in our region. None-the-less they are prominent mushrooms during our summer season.


From: Oluna Ceska, P.O. Box 8546, Victoria, BC, Canada c/o

Observatory Hill (a.k.a. Little Saanich Mountain) is a 224 m hill on the outskirts of Victoria, British Columbia. Renowned Canadian astronomer J.S. Plaskett selected this hill as a site for a large 1.83 m telescope. The telescope was finished in May 1918 and the observatory quickly became an important astronomical research and educational facility. Since 1975, Observatory Hill has been one of the sites of the NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics that administers the 71.4 ha of the hill. This area represents the major part of the hill.

The research facilities include two astronomical domes, the main buildings of the Institute, the educational “Centre of the Universe”, and several other smaller buildings. These structures are all clustered near the top of Observatory Hill. Relatively large areas of Observatory Hill were left undeveloped in order to insure good conditions for astronomical observations.

Plant communities of Observatory Hill are typical of the Coastal Douglas-Fir Biogeoclimatic Zone (Green & Klinka 1994). The drier western and southern slopes in the upper parts of the hill are open rock outcrops with a mosaic of mossy/grassy vegetation and several stands of Garry oak (Quercus garryana), with scattered clusters of arbutus (Arbutus menziesii). [Note: The nomenclature of vascular plants follows Hitchcock & Cronquist (1973).]

Stands dominated by Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) are the major forest types in the study area. Forests of this type occur in the lower parts of the hill and on the top plateau. In the lower colluvial slopes, the forests belong to the Pseudotsuga menziesii – Gaultheria shallon and Pseudotsuga menziesii – Mahonia nervosa site series; whereas on the upper parts of the top plateau the forests belong to the drier Pseudotsuga menziesii – Melica subulata site series as defined by Green & Klinka (1994). Larger parts of the stands on the top of Observatory Hill are remnants of an old-growth Douglas-fir forest, rare on southern Vancouver Island.

The area at the eastern base of the hill, below the access road, is covered with wetter Douglas-fir forest (Thuja plicata – Eurhynchium oreganum site series) with scattered broadleaved maple (Acer macrophyllum). Broadleaved maple forms a small stand along a small ephemeral stream at the bottom of this area.

With the exception of Hans Roemer’s work, there has been no detailed study of the plant communities of Observatory Hill. Hans Roemer included 10 vegetation sample plots (relevés) from Observatory Hill in his Ph.D. thesis (Roemer 1972). In his recent studies of rare plants on the western slope, Roemer documented their habitats with more vegetation relevés.

As to other native forest tree species, there is almost no lodge-pole pine (Pinus contorta) on Observatory Hill, very little red alder (Alnus rubra), scattered western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and some western yew (Taxus brevifolia). Western dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) and Scouler’s willow (Salix scouleriana) are occasionally encountered on the eastern slope of the hill.

The western slope of the hill hosts several rare species, including vascular plants, bryophytes, insects, and vertebrates. Many of them are listed in the Species At Risk Act (SARA) registry: Most of the rare species occur on the rock outcrops and in the Quercus garryana stands on the western slope of the hill.

Observatory Hill (or Little Saanich Mountain, as it was previously called) was of high interest to Victoria botanists at the beginning of the 20th century. C.F. Newcombe, R.J. Anderson and G. Hardy collected vascular plants on the western slope of Observatory Hill and recorded several rare plants that are still studied and monitored today: Allium amplectens, Aster curtus, Meconella oregana, Idahoa scapigera, Lomatium dissectum, Lupinus lepidus, Psoralea (Rupertia) physodes, Viola praemorsa (see Ceska 1986). Recently, bryologists have been monitoring two rare bryophytes (Bartramia stricta Brid. and Entosthodon fascicularis[Hedw.] C. Müll. ) that have also been discovered on the western slope of Observatory Hill. Other uncommon bryophytes of that area are the liverworts Sphaerocarpos texanus Aust. and Targionia hypophylla L. Not too much attention has been paid to other parts of Observatory Hill, or to the fungi.

My project, A Survey of Macrofungi on Observatory Hill was suggested and initiated by a radio astronomer, Dr. Paul Feldman, in November 2004 and has been supported by the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, a part of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics.

In my surveys, I have been using the Intuitive Controlled Survey Method that was developed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in their surveys for rare (“target”) species. The Intuitive Controlled approach calls for the qualified surveyor to conduct a survey of the area by walking through it and around its perimeters, and closely examining portions where target species are especially likely to occur. I have been trying to cover all the possible habitats and substrates.

In addition, the fungal surveys require repeated sampling throughout the season because of the ephemeral fruiting of many fungi (cf. Castellano et al. 2003). The surveys should also be conducted “for a minimum of 3 and preferably 5 years to increase the likelihood of detection” (Castellano et al. 1999). The review of long-term surveys by Kendrick (2005) suggests that even a five-year survey does not detect all the fungi that occur on the site.

For simplicity, three main broad “ecosystems” in the study area were distinguished:

  1. the mosaic of open, mossy rock outcrops with Quercus garryana/Arbutus menziesii/Pseudotsuga menziesii patches or small stands;
  2. the mixed drier forest with Pseudotsuga menziesii-Gaultheria shallon and Pseudotsuga menziesii-Mahonia nervosa;
  3. the wetter forest with Pseudotsuga menziesii, Thuja plicata, and Acer macrophyllum.

Each encountered species was recorded on each visit and specimens of those that needed microscopic examination for identification were collected. Selected specimens were photographed, preferably in their original setting.

Laboratory work at home included:

It is generally accepted that 1 hour in the field ? 3-4 hours work on the collections (Castellano et al. 1999).

From November 27, 2004 to March 31, 2009, I have made 121 collecting visits to Observatory Hill and recorded/collected about 760 species of fungi:

Many species have occurred only in one season of the study (43%), fewer in two seasons (18%), and three seasons (15%). Those species that occurred in four or in all five seasons were even fewer (both about 12%). Kendrick (2005) found a similar pattern of occurrence in many of the long-term mycological surveys he analyzed.

The majority of species that occur on Observatory Hill are non-mycorrhizal; mycorrhizal species accounted for 14.7 to 27% of all the species that appeared in single seasons. There was a substantial decline in the number of species in the main mycorrhizal genera in the 2006/2007 season, due to an unusually long and severe drought in the summer and early fall of 2006. The number of species in the main species-rich non-mycorrhizal genera remained unaffected even in the heavy drought season.

The list of species for this site could be considered representative for the mycoflora of many similar sites in the Coastal Douglas-fir Biogeoclimatic Zone on southern Vancouver Island. Many species represent northern extensions of more southern species.

Some examples of species of special interest:

  1. Species that occur on unique substrates/habitats: Byssonectria fusispora (Berk.) Rogerson & Korf (growing on moss in places where deer urinate), Cordyceps militaris (L.) Link (parasitic on insect larvae), Marasmius chordalis Fr. (growing on dead rhizomes of bracken fern – Pteridium aquilinum), Rimbachia bryophila (Pers.) Redhead (growing on moss), Tubaria punicea (A.H. Sm. & Hesler) Ammirati, Matheny & P.-A. Moreau (growing on eroded bases of arbutus, Arbutus menziesii).
  2. Species that represent northernmost extensions from California, Oregon and Washington: Entoloma lignicola Largent, Limacella glioderma (Fr.) Maire, Limacella illinita (Fr.) Maire,Pouzarella fulvostrigosa (Berk. & Broome) Mazzer, Pouzarella versatilis (Gillet) Mazzer, Russula crenulata Burl., Sarcosoma mexicana (Ellis & Holw.) Paden & Tylutki, Tremellodendropsis tuberosa (Grev.) D.A. Crawford, Tubaria punicea.
  3. Species rarely collected in North America, disjunct from eastern North America: Hypocrea gelatinosa (Tode) Fr., Pholiota albocrenulata (Peck) Sacc.
  4. Genera that require further taxonomical studies: Calocybe, Cortinarius, Inocybe, Lepiota, Leptonia, Pluteus, etc.
  5. Inconspicuous species that are rarely collected, they might be either rare or overlooked: Claudopus byssisedus (Pers.) Gillet, Dacrymyces ovisporus Bref., Helvella villosa (Hedw.) Dissing & Nannf., Tetrapyrgos subdendrophora (Redhead) E. Horak, Wilcoxina rehmii Chin S. Yang & Korf.

There are some taxonomic problems in many genera of fungi. In my identifications I tried to consult specialists on certain groups. It is likely that there are some as yet undescribed species in the material I have collected, waiting for the specialists to study them.

My collections from Observatory Hill have already contributed to solving taxonomic problems in the genus Tubaria (Matheny et al. 2007). Several Cortinarius specimens from Observatory Hill are being studied by Prof. Joe Ammirati (University of Washington, Seattle) and DNA sequencing has been done on another Cortinarius specimens by Dr. Mary Berbee (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) and her students (Berbee et al. 2008, Harrower et. al. 2008). Dr. Berbee is also starting the DNA study of the genus Inocybe and the Observatory Hill collections will also be used for this study.

The results of each season are summarized in annual reports that are submitted to the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. Each report highlights the results of each collecting season and includes a summary table that lists all the species collected at Observatory Hill since the beginning of this survey in November 2004. The 2008/2009 report is available as a pdf file from the following web sites: or

Long-term surveys are needed in order to obtain a “complete” list of macrofungi from a given area. Previous studies have shown that the surveys for macrofungi can yield new species even after decades of surveying (Hawksworth 2001). In our Clayoquot Sound study (Roberts et al. 2004) we were finding about the same number of new, not previously encountered species every year of our four years long survey.

Observatory Hill has proven to be ideal for a long-term mycological inventory for several reasons:

  1. the area is protected to a certain degree by having been managed by a scientific institution that has been interested in preserving it;
  2. the area is close to Victoria and easily accessible;
  3. the size of the area is about the maximum that one mycologist can cover in an intensive field study.

I hope that my work will be the beginning of on-going, long-term monitoring of the mycota in the Coastal Douglas-fir Biogeoclimatic Zone.

See also:


I would like to thank Joe Ammirati (University of Washington), the late Bob Bandoni (UBC), Mary Berbee (UBC Vancouver), Jim Ginns (retired from the DAOM herbarium in Ottawa), Scott Redhead (DAOM herbarium in Ottawa), and Else Vellinga (University of California, Berkeley) for help with identification of several species. My husband, Adolf Ceska, helped me with the field work, photographic documentation and computing. Dave Blundon, Ian Gibson, Bryce Kendrick, Paul Kroeger, and Rich Mably joined me in the field on several occasions. Rose Klinkenberg and Terry McIntosh corrected some idiosyncrasies of my English. Thanks are due to Susanna Gibson for commissioning the survey. Last but not least, I would like to thank Paul Feldman for initiating this project, for his continuing interest in this survey, and for his editorial help to smooth my syntax.


Berbee, Mary, L., Emma Harrower, Adam Cappuccino, Jaclyn Dee, Marty Kranabetter, Paul Kroeger, SeaRa Lim. 2008.
Establishing the baseline for fungal diversity in British Columbia for times of changing climate. Weresub Lecture. Botanical Society of America, 2008 Conference, Vancouver, BC. [Abstract]
Castellano Michael A., Jane E. Smith, Thom O'Dell, Efren Cazares & Susan Nugent. 1999.
Handbook to strategy 1: Fungal taxa in the Northwest Forest Plan. Gen.Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-476. Portland, OR: USDA Forest Service, PNW Research Station. 195 p.
Castellano, Michael A., Efrén Cázares, Bryan Fondrick, & Tina Dreisbach. 2003.
Handbook to additional fungal species of special concern in the Northwest Forest Plan. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-572. US Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR.
Ceska, Adolf. 1986.
An annotated list of rare and uncommon vascular plants of the Victoria area. The Victoria Naturalist 42 (5): 1-15.
Green, R.N. & K. Klinka. 1994.
A Field Guide to Site Identification and Interpretation for the Vancouver Forest Region. Land Management Handbook Number 28. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria, B.C. ix+285 p.
Harrower, Emma, SeaRa Lim, Paul Kroeger, & Mary Berbee. 2008.
A survey of the genus Cortinarius in British Columbia. Botanical Society of America, Botany 2008 Conference, Vancouver, BC. [Abstract]
Hawksworth, D.L. 2001.
The magnitude of fungal diversity: the 1.5 million species estimate revisited. Mycological Research 105: 1422-1432.
Hitchcock, C. L. and A. Cronquist. 1973.
Flora of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA. 730 p.
Kendrick, B. 2005.
Fungi – common, rare and in-between. BEN 347, April 15, 2005.
Matheny, P.B., E.C. Vellinga, N.L. Bougher, O. Ceska, P.-A. Moreau, M.A. Neves, & J.F. Ammirati. 2007.
Taxonomy of displaced species of Tubaria. Mycologia 99(4): 569-585.
Roberts, C., O. Ceska, P. Kroeger, & B. Kendrick. 2004.
Macrofungi from six habitats over five years in Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island. Canadian Journal of Botany 82: 1518-1538.
Roemer, Hans. 1972.
Forest vegetation and environments on the Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island._ Ph.D. Thesis, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC. 405 p.

Send submissions to
BEN is archived at