The Galls, Leaf Miners & Micro-fungi Group
Members of the Botanical Group over the past several years have also studied and recorded certain aspects of Plant pathology, viz. Plant Galls and their inducers, Leaf Mines and their Miners and phytopathogenic Fungi, particularly Rusts, Smuts, and Powdery and Downy Mildews. These subjects are at the interfaces between Botany and Mycology (the study of fungi).
One, and sometimes two botanical field meetings each year are particularly devoted to these subjects, usually the last meeting of the year in Autumn, and sometimes an additional one in Spring.
It was E.W.Swanton who published in the Proceedings for 1937 the first list of Island Galls and a renewed interest in the subject since about 1985 has enabled the Society to record a further 274 species of gall-causing organisms new to the Isle of Wight.
Most of the leaf-mining insects now known on the Island had not been recorded before and, similarly, the micro-fungi now being recorded had not been studied locally in the past with consequently many new species recorded.
For these meetings no prior knowledge of the subjects is required of participants, just enthusiasm and a pair of eyes willing to look for ‘abnormalities’ on plants and trees. Veteran members of the Group will be happy to share their knowledge of the subjects with newer members.