Wales has some "important and diverse habitats"

Fungi have intriguing names like waxcaps, fairy clubs and earth tongues. Credit: Prifysgol Aberystwth University

Researchers at Aberystwyth University say Wales has some of the most scientifically important and diverse habitats for grassland fungi in the world.

Writing in the journal Mycosphere Dr Gareth Griffith and his international team recorded fungi at 48 grassland sites in all parts of Wales, from Flintshire and Anglesey to Pembrokeshire and Monmouth..

Sites stretch from Cardiff to Llanwchllyn. Credit: Prifysgol Aberystwth University

They compared data with other areas in Europe and beyond and showed that several of the best sites for grassland fungi in Europe and most of the best sites in the UK are in Wales.

Several are now protected as SSSIs (sites of special scientific interest).

Land on Welsh hills is "important for fungal rich areas" Credit: Prifysgol Aberystwth University

Dr Griffith and his colleagues hope the study will lead to wider public recognition of the global significance of these Welsh habitats and fungi in general to biodiversity conservation.

The study was funded by the Countryside Council for Wales (now part of Natural Resources Wales) and NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council.