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Abstract

Mountains cover large areas of the territory in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With mean altitude of 625 meters a.s.l. it is one of the highest countries in the Southeast Europe. Most of its mountains belongs to the Dinaric Alps system which stretches in the northwest-southeast direction through several other countries as well. These mountains are built from different geological components and are home to scattered and various types of freshwater ecosystems many of which are well preserved and isolated primarily thanks to their remoteness and unapproachability. Alpine mycobiota of Southeast Europe is poorly understood in general. On the one hand, there are a significant number of mountainous lakes that mostly originate from glacial activity in the high mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whilst mycobiota of these refugia is completely underexplored. Nevertheless, these specific habitat types could be one of the last well-preserved alpine reservoirs for some extremely rare stenovalent fungal species. Through our preliminary study of these intriguing ecosystems we aimed to discover fungal species which inhabit these unique natural phenomena while this book represents first real insight into these outstanding fungal organisms and their ecology as well. Glacial and other type of mountainous lakes are under severe threats, predominantly pronounced in the processes of natural succession which even become more progressive due to the climate changes, intensive grazing, water regime disturbances, or some other anthropogenic influence which all might lead to complete disappearance of the lakes and possible extinction of some highly adopted but still undiscovered fungal species.
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