Browse by Subject
Contact Information

Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

You are here: NRS Home / Research Programs / Center for Forest Mycology Research
Center for Forest Mycology Research


The Northern Research Station has realigned our staff from 37 Research Work Units and Programs into 14 new Research Work Units.

RWU-4504 is now part of NRS-10, Biological and Environmental Influences on Forest Health and Productivity.

Our Mission

We conduct research on:

  • Wood-inhabiting fungi as invasive species.
  • Biosystematics of wood-inhabiting fungi .
  • The role of wood decay fungi in forest fire prevention and restoration.


It is important to assess the danger of non-native pathogenic fungi to determine whether they pose a major threat to U.S. forests if accidentally introduced by international trade. It is also important to know which fungi are already present in the forest in order to recognize potentially invasive species when they are introduced. Biodiversity studies are underway in Alaska, northern Minnesota, Belize and other Carribean countries. Our scientsts are members of the Forest Service's Wood Import Pest Risk Assessment and Mitigation Team and the Exotic Forest Pest Information System for North America.

Wood-inhabiting fungi include both pathogens and saprophytes. Many are very difficult to identify and their genetic relationships are not well known. CFMR scientists specialize in the biosystematics, i.e., the taxonomy and evolutionary relationships, of the corticioid and polypore wood decay fungi. A good understanding of the genetics and biology of these fungi permits their identification in ecological studies and is vital for the detection of invasive species. We maintain an extensive culture collection and herbarium as tools for fungal identification and biosystematic studies.

The buildup of dead trees and slash in our forests is a major contributor to massive forest fires of recent years. Fungal decomposition rapidly decreases fire hazard, and studies are underway to assess the impact of wood decay fungi on fire prevention.

More Information

This site is under development as the Forest Service brings together the Northeastern and North Central Research Stations to form the Northern Research Station, serving the Northeast and Midwest. Check back often as we expand our site to reflect our combined commitment to supporting the natural resources and people of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States.

For more details about our research visit

Last Modified: 12/21/2007