First report of the post-fire morel Morchella exuberans in eastern North America

Andrew N. Miller, Daniel B. Raudabaugh, Teresa Iturriaga, P. Brandon Matheny, Ronald H. Petersen, Karen W. Hughes, Matthias Gube, Rob A. Powers, Timothy Y. James, Kerry O’donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reports of true morels (Morchella) fruiting on conifer burn sites are common in western North America where five different fire-adapted species of black morels (Elata Clade) have been documented based on multilocus phylogenetic analyses. Fruiting of post-fire morels in eastern North America, by comparison, are rare and limited to a report from Minnesota in 1977 and eastern Ontario in 1991. Here, nuc rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 = ITS) sequences were used to identify the post-fire morel that fruited in great abundance the year following the 2012 Duck Lake Fire in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and after the 2016 largescale fire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee as M. exuberans. A preliminary phylogenetic analysis suggests that the collections from eastern North America may be more closely related to those from Europe than from western North America, Europe, and China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-714
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017


  • Ascomycota
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • ITS rDNA
  • Michigan
  • RPB1
  • RPB2
  • TEF1
  • biogeography
  • conservation
  • true morel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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