Taxonomy and biogeography of pyrenomycetous fungi occurring around the Sea of Japan

Institute of Biology and Soil Science FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia

One of the most interesting regions in northeastern Asia is the area around the Sea of Japan. Many pyrenomycetous fungi are restricted to this territory, and a number of economically important pathogenic fungi are only known from northeastern China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Russia. Unfortunately, rather often they are confused with other species, so phytopathologists cannot recognize them and thus develop the appropriate measures of control. Some species described originally from the Russian Far East - Biscogniauxia mandshurica Lar. N. Vassiljeva, B. maritima Lar. N. Vassiljeva, Cryptosphaeria exornata Lar. N. Vassiljeva, C. venusta Lar. N. Vassiljeva - were found later in China, Korea or Japan. Diaporthella corylina Lar. N. Vassiljeva and Leucodiaporthe acerina M. E. Barr & Lar. N. Vassiljeva are only known from two localities in China and Russia or Korea and Russia, respectively. Podostroma gigantea S. Imai described from Japan was found later in the Russian Far East. It is most probable that these species were distributed more widely before the Glacial Age and then were pushed by glaciers to the Pacific Ocean where the Sea of Japan appeared after the separation of Japan (as the island arc) from the continent, about 25-15 millions years ago (i.e. during the last glaciation). It was supposed that host plants of many fungi became more widely distributed again after the Glacial Age, but unlike their host plants, the fungal species were restricted to the area of the Sea of Japan. It seems that this area appeared to become a kind of a 'trap' for fungi which are associated with air current directions in their dispersal, while the air currents are often dependent upon sea currents. The main circulation of waters in the Sea of Japan is created by two currents. One of these (The Tsushima Current) is warm, another one (The Liman Current) is cold. In fact, these two currents create a closed system of water and air flows which transfer the fungal spores, and this factor might help to explain the narrow biogeographical pattern known in some fungi around the Sea of Japan.

2012 Organizing Committee