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Black fungi tend to be ecologically remarkable. Members of Dothideales / Capnodiales thrive under harsh environmental conditions, such as dryness, solar irradiation, high osmolarity or very low pH. Environments investigated range between Antarctic rock, Spitsbergen glaciers, Mediterranean saltpans and even outer space. Mechanisms of stress tolerance are described, and new genera, species and varieties of extremotolerant fungi are reported.
Essential factors for ecology and evolution are described, such as oligotrophism, assimilation of aromatic hydrocarbons and meristematic growth, and methods for selective isolation based on these features are proposed. Novel species are introduced, and tools for molecular identification are provided.