What we know … and what we don’t know
Fungi have been so poorly studied over the years that we still do not know the range of species that occur world-wide; nor do we have an accurate figure for the fungi of the British Isles. Even though Scotland is comparatively well-known, it still holds many undescribed taxa. About 2,500 larger fungi may occur in the British Isles of which perhaps two-thirds are found in Scotland. In addition there are many thousands of microscopic species.
There are already check-lists - nationally agreed reference lists of British cup fungi and lichens. The latest list to be compiled at the Royal Botanic Garden Kew is of the British and Irish higher fungi, known as the Basidiomycetes. In contrast many groups of micro-fungi found in Britain are not properly catalogued and we can only guess at their numbers. However, it is indisputable that there are many more fungi in the British Isles than flowering plants - perhaps six times as many.