Developing below the soil surface, desert truffles are hard to find. Recently, researchers of the University of Évora updated the number of known species of the desert truffle genus Terfezia occurring in Portugal from three to ten species. They thoroughly characterized their ecological preferences, adding new knowledge on Terfezia’s cryptic lifestyle. These findings are of major importance, as desert truffles have a high economic value. The study was published in the open-access journal MycoKeys.
To be listed as UNESCO World Heritage requires special care and protection of valuable cultural monuments and pieces of Art from threats such as biodeterioration caused by microcolonial black fungi. The culprits lodge their branch-like structures (hyphae) deep into the stone forming fissures and cracks and also produce polysaccharides that trigger corrosion. These fungi are well known […]
New to science, the species was named after Pluto, the ruler of the underworld in Greek mythology A diving beetle demonstrating various adaptations to the life underground, including depigmentation and evolutionary loss of eyes, was discovered at the bottom of a clay pound in the cave Soprador do Carvalho, Portugal. The species turned out to […]
As travelling in the 21st century is easier than ever, so is for species to make their way to new areas, sometimes increasing their distributional range, or even establishing whole new habitats. On the other hand, when they leave their natural predators and competitors behind, and find abundance of suitable resources somewhere else, they are […]
Subject to continuing population decline due to a number of factors, an exclusively cave-dwelling (troglobitic) spider endemic to the Azores is considered as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria. To provide a fast output, potentially benefiting the arachnid’s survival, scientists from the IUCN – Spider and Scorpion Specialist Group and the Azorean […]