Anna Ronikier* & Michal Ronikier**
1 Department of Mycology, W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, PL-31-512 Kraków, Poland; e-mail: email@example.com
2 Department of Plant Systematics, W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, PL-31-512 Kraków, Poland; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronikier A. & Ronikier M. (2010) Marasmius epidryas at the southern edge of its potential distribution range: discovery of populations in the western Balkan mountains. – Sydowia 62 (2): 295–304.
Marasmius epidryas is a saprobic fungus specifically associated with dead tissues of Dryas spp. It belongs to the group of typical arctic-alpine fungi distributed in the northern (arctic and subarctic) areas and in disjunct high-mountain habitats of the temperate zone. In the framework of extensive studies focused on the fungi of the alpine zone in the Carpathians and the south-east European mountains, we discovered new localities of M. epidryas in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, in the Dinaric mountain system and the Scando-Pindic mountain system. They represent first records of this species (and of arctic-alpine fungi in general) in these mountain ranges as well as new species records for Macedonia and Montenegro. The fin-dings of M. epidryas in the western Balkan area bring a significant contribution to the knowledge of distri-bution of this arctic-alpine fungus in Europe. As they belong to southernmost localities of the species, they confirm the co-occurrence of this saprobic species with its host plant also in disjunct, island populations at the southern edge of the distribution of Dryas octopetala. We provide a detailed morphological description of the western Balkan specimens and a map of the southern European distribution of M. epidryas on the background of the distribution range of D. octopetala.
Keywords: Agaricomycetes, alpine belt, arctic-alpine element, Balkan Peninsula, biogeography, distribution, Macedonia, Montenegro.