The proposed project (MFJM) aims to map the diversity and distribution of marine fungi on the remote Jan Mayen. Few studies have been performed on the island to map the diversity of fungi and none of these has reported occurrences of marine fungi. It is likely that the unique location host undescribed fungal diversity. The proposed fieldwork is crucial to get the first overview of the marine species on the island and by doing this filling a national and global knowledge gap in the distribution of marine fungi. MFJM will also collect and identify terrestrial fungi. The biota on the island is threatened by global warming and it is important to document the occurrence of marine and terrestrial fungi on the island.
MFJM is linked to another project called Norwegian Marine Fungi (NMF) covering fieldwork elsewhere in Norway and including the education of an MSc student. MFJM will supplement NMF with a fieldwork week on Jan Mayen in August 2022, but can also be implemented as a stand-alone project. The sampling in MFJM will contribute with samples from Jan Mayen that will be included in NMF and the MSc student's work. The field samples will be studied in laboratory and fungal species will be identified using morphology and DNA sequencing. Pure cultures established from fruiting bodies of marine fungi will be screened for new antibacterial compounds at Marbio (UiT) after the project end.
MFJM will provide valuable scientific data that will be included in open access publications and planned outreach activities. Collected fungal specimens will be made available for other scientists through the Arctic University Museum of Tromsø (TROM), observations are published in Artsobservasjoner.no and the cultures established from fruiting bodies are long-term preserved and made available for scientists at the Norwegian marine biobank’s collection (Institute of Marine Research). Sequence data will be deposited in GenBank.