Enthusiastic amateurs advance science as they hunt for exotic mushrooms

Read the full story at NPR.

Let’s face it. If you are a mushroom scientist, you are hopelessly outnumbered.

By one estimate, there are between 2.2 million and 3.8 million species of fungi — and more than 90% of them aren’t cataloged.

But mycologists (as fungus professionals are known) do get a big boost from a surprisingly sophisticated world of amateurs — both those who tromp through the forests observing oddball species, as well as those who have helped build a community that links the amateurs with the pros.

Sometimes the amateurs come up with stunning discoveries.

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