Observation 205345: Neournula pouchetii (Berthet & Riousset) Paden


Collector(s): Joseph D. Cohen
Determined: 2015-May-31
Determiner: Nicolas Van Vooren
Original Determination: Neournula pouchetii
Habitat: Conifer
Aspect: NE
Growth Habit: Few
Substrate: Duff
Closest plant: Other
Other Habitat & Locality Notes: In mossy, conifer duff on the NE side of a rotting conifer “nurse” log. Two tree species grow on that log: a few small (~20 cm) Thuja plicata (Western Redcedar), which are closet to the mushroom, and a larger (3m) conifer, which may be Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock); also within 0.5m of Plectania melastoma (Observation 205348).
Spore print:
Other Specimen Notes: geolcation and elevation estimated from Zigzag RD map and Google Maps (exif data is incorrect)
ITS GenBank Number: KT968605
LSU GenBank Number: KT968655

Species Lists


another mushroom in identical location
annotated site overview
general habitat
branches from two closest trees — top view
branches from two closest trees — bottom view

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2016-05-17 14:45:24 CDT (-0500)

your comments regarding Cedrus has me wondering. I’m sure what we have is not C. atlanticus, but not so sure about either C. lebani (Lebanese cedar) or C. deodora (Deodora cedar). These names were used as synonyms for the last 50 years or more in my area. Can you provide examples of both?

Host trees
By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2016-05-17 12:06:09 CDT (-0500)

To my knowledge, in Europe, N. pouchetii was only found under Cedrus sp. (for all my collections, C. atlantica). C. atlantica was widely introduced in our continent from the mid-19th, and this is a common tree in urban parks and private gardens. C. libani is also present but more often in Mediterranean area or Atlantic coast, and maybe N. pouchetii could also be found under it. These two cedars are very close morphologically. It has also been found under Cedrus deodora in Tuscany, Italy.
So in North America, maybe N. nordmanensis is restricted to Cupressaceae (although one collection is cited from Canada, British Columbia, under Pinus monticola), an adaptation of the mutual ancestor to its environment.
I would be interested to see if the microscopic characters of the two Neournula present some differences (there is no evidence from the literature).

No true Cedar
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2016-05-17 10:33:06 CDT (-0500)

exist in the PNW, Joe.

By: Byrain
2016-05-17 08:35:16 CDT (-0500)

Does not occur naturally in North America.

In California there have been a lot of Cedrus deodora planted, some of it has even established itself in natural areas, but you won’t find that in most forests.

The trees some people call “cedar” here are only related to Cedrus in that they are both conifers, but are in the family Cuppressaceae while Cedrus are Pinaceae.

Cedrus absent generally from PNW?
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2016-05-17 08:28:49 CDT (-0500)

Thanks for the clarification.
Do you know whether Cedrus also does not occur naturally in the remainder of the Pacific Northwest?
— Joe

Just confirming
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2016-05-16 23:05:04 CDT (-0500)

that no Cedrus present. The only true cedar uncommonly found in Oregon is Cedrus lebani, which is usually an introduced species, often in urban environments.

Many trees
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2016-05-16 21:05:15 CDT (-0500)

I didn’t understand the import of your 2016-05-16 12:30:23 PDT Comment, “The two trees in question”. Were you highlighting the Other Habitat & Locality Notes portion of the Observation’s Notes, or did you have something else in mind?
— Joe

Thank you Nicolas
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2016-05-16 17:46:30 CDT (-0500)


Thank you for your continued help and suggestions.

I will make an effort to get other North American collections and have them sequenced in the ITS region. (There have been some other North American specimens sequenced, but not in the ITS region. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...).

An additional ideas is to see if either the holotype or isotype of N. normanensis is available for sequencing and whether it is possible to get a sequence so long after collection.

All specimens of N. pouchetii/N. normanensis in North American herbaria are from the Pacific Northwest (as are the few MO Observations). As far as I know, we do not have naturally occurring Cedrus in that region.

I would welcome any other of your suggestions for pursuing this.

— Joe Cohen

The two trees in question
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2016-05-16 14:30:23 CDT (-0500)

are Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock) and Thuja plicata (Western red cedar).

DNA results
By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2016-05-16 09:35:02 CDT (-0500)

Thanks for communicating these results. It confirms that Neournula nordmanensis could be a distinct species, with its own ecology. Now it would be interesting to sequence another collections from North America, with the different known host trees to see if N. nordmanensis is the only species present on your continent or if N. pouchetii is also present (especially under cedar trees).

BLAST results lab report
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2016-05-16 08:12:43 CDT (-0500)

Thanks to Kelli Van Norman and ISSSSP for funding the sampling:

BLAST results for OMS Mycoflora group samples
compiled by Matt Gordon, Molecular Solutions, LLC, 11/17/2015:

y010, identified as Neournula pouchetii MO 205345
Although the closest match in GenBank was a Neournula pouchetii (from Spain), the similarity was only 89%. No ITS sequence from the US was available. However the LSU sequence showed a 99.2% similarity to a N. pouchetii from the U.S., while the LSU similarity to a Spanish specimen was only 96.8%. Note that the LSU locus is not as variable as the ITS, so a 3% difference in the LSU is a large difference within a species. No other ITS or LSU sequences were available for comparison, but these results support the idea of a significant evolutionary difference between European and U.S. Neournula pouchetii. This ITS sequence from this specimen will be the first from the US for this species.

ectomycorrrizal v saprobic research?
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2015-06-13 11:52:18 CDT (-0500)

What is now called N. pouchetii in Europe (and Africa) is associated with Cedrus (personal communication from Nicolas Van Houten). In North America, it occurs in a variety of conifer litter, and Paden & Tylutki said it was saprophytic. See Mycologa 60(6): 1160, 1162 (discussing N. normandensis, which Paden later synonymized with N. pouchetii).
Has there been any research directed to whether Neornula, N. pouchetii, N. normandensis, and/or Urnula pouchetii is ectomycorrrizal v saprobic?
(Perhaps there’s a good explanation in Berthet, P.; Riousset, L. 1965. “Un Urnula nouveau des cedraies provencales: Urnula pouchetii nov. sp. (discomycetes opercules).” Bulletin Mensuel de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon. 34(7):253-261. But I have not been able to obtain a copy.)

No offense taken
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2015-06-10 18:44:50 CDT (-0500)


1. I didn’t take offense, and I apologize if my email conveyed something else.

2. Your conclusion that this was a group foray was logical. But I often use OMS collection slips outside of group forays as (a) evidence control (they have unique numbers), and (2) an rudimentary checklist/aide mémoire for what I should make note off. Saves some expense, but maybe I need to change that practice.

3. The OMS Mycoflora group hasn’t given up on micro, and those members with scopes are examining the tougher specimens. (If I can get this scoped, I’ll add the micro characters to my notes.)

4. Although in this case — thanks to Nicolas and a second look at Beug, et. al. — I got the genus right without a scope, your point is about wider scope is valid. Cf. Observation 205871. And I guess I am geekified, because I’m in the process of getting one. Learning how to use it properly will be a longer story.


Hi Joe.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-06-10 17:24:57 CDT (-0500)

I meant no offense.

Scoping ascos for a good ID is common practice. And as to “you folks,” from the card it looked as tho it was an OMS group foray, and certainly as a Mycoflora addition you would want to go that extra mile. Or are we just giving up on micro and hoping to fund DNA? Don’t we want to be able to confirm what we have without paying $30 a specimen?

After all, your original species proposal was a whole nuther genus. It is HARD to tell these things just in hand, no matter how much experience you have.

If this was just you collecting, and you don’t have a scope, then of course you need to pass it along. But I would suggest getting yourself a scope. They can come in handy. And they’re fun, too.

Surely you are geekified enough these days to justify it?! ;)

Host tree
By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2015-06-10 15:07:58 CDT (-0500)

It could be difficult to find the true host tree, and it is also possible that the fungus is associated with several trees… Neournula is an ectomycorrhizal fungus, and its mycelium can diffuse on “long” distances.

save and scope
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2015-06-10 13:40:10 CDT (-0500)


Scoping and saving would save confusion in most cases. But practices vary considerably by person. Some people (not sure who mean by “you folks”) scope and save lots, while others do less. (Personally, I don’t have a scope. That should change in the next few months.)

I did save this particular specimen, and hope to have it at least scoped (by someone else). (I don’t know if scoping will make a difference, as I haven’t had time to research the micro differences between Neournula pouchetii and N. nomanensis.)


Tsuga and Thuja
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2015-06-10 13:19:42 CDT (-0500)

The left and right branches in Image 525993 and Image 525994 correspond to the trees which are annotated as Tsuga and Thuja in Image 525989. I’m sure about Thuja plicata (Western Redcedar), not so much about Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock).

don’t you folks save and scope yur ascos?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-06-10 11:50:31 CDT (-0500)

that would eliminate a lot of confusion.

By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2015-06-10 11:32:34 CDT (-0500)

The branch on the left comes from an Abies tree or from Tsuga heterophylla. On the right, it may be a branch of Thuya, but I’m not familiar with North American conifers ;-)

added ecology info & photos
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2015-06-07 12:06:38 CDT (-0500)

I updated and revised the Notes, and added photos of the site and of branches of the two closest trees. The cone in the pictures with the branches was located several meters from the site.

Definitely Neournula
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2015-05-31 14:02:51 CDT (-0500)


Than you for the additional information on hosts.

I changed my vote. After reading you emails, I compared this specimen to other specimens of Neournula pouchetii and Helvella leucomelaena; reviewed the entries on both those taxa in Michael Beug, Alan E. Bessette, Arleen R. Bessette, Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide (Univ. of Texas Press 2014); compared it to specimens collected at a foray this weekend and ID’d as H. leucomelaena and N. pouchetii; and consulted with others present at the foray, including Michael Beug. It’s definitely what has been called Neournula pouchetii in the Pacific Northwest.

Your comment about hosts is interesting because Beug’s book comments:

Neournula pouchetii is a European species, possibly genetically distinct from North American material. Neournula normanensis Paden and Tylukti, named from the Pacific Northwest … and later synonymized with Neournula pouchetii … may be resurrected as the accepted name for Pacific Northwest material.

I will try to have a look at the journal articles and do further research. I will also try to drop by the site tomorrow to have a closer look at the trees.


By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2015-05-31 09:04:02 CDT (-0500)

In Europe and North Africa, this species is host-specific from Cedrus spp.
In North America, it is given on litter of cedar, but also another conifers (after Paden & Tylutki, Mycologia vol. 60): Thuja spp., Pseudotsuga menziesii…

Will check ecology
By: Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
2015-05-31 08:38:27 CDT (-0500)


Thank you for the Comment and the Suggested name. The habitat is mixed conifer, but I do not remember whether there are Pinus nearby. I just added geolocation data, and will go back to the site to check the ecology.


By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2015-05-31 02:05:16 CDT (-0500)

Your specimens look like Neournula pouchetii. What is the ecology where you collected them?
H. leucomelaena is associated with Pinus trees, and the needles around these specimens do not come from a Pinus.

Created: 2015-05-30 19:55:30 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2018-02-23 12:43:45 CST (-0600)
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