Fungi of Temperate Europe: Volume 1+2

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Fungi of Temperate Europe: Volume 1+2

Fungi of Temperate Europe: Volume 1+2

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Hence it includes many Continental species that have not been found in Britain, though fewer than you might suppose, for fungi tend to be more widely distributed than plants. Including agarics, boletes, chanterelles and morels but also more obscure groups such as cyphelloids, cup fungi, pyrenomycetous fungi and hysterioids, this guide takes an unprecedentedly broad approach to communicating fungal diversity.

The fungal kingdom; fungal nutrition; Fungal biogeography and habitats; Asexual propagation; Fruitbodies; Microscopy; Tastes and smells; Working with fruitbodies; General identification wheels; Chanterelles and the like. Some 2,500 species are described, including nearly every fungus you can identify without a microscope (and a lot that you cannot). Here the task is facilitated by grouping together look-alikes, and, crucially, describing the differences between them. The second, which takes us to 1,715 pages, includes all the rest: brackets, puffballs, jelly fungi, coral fungi, hydnoids, cup fungi and truffles, with a nod at rusts and smuts, mildews, lichens and slime moulds (and, yes, the authors are well aware that the latter are not fungi).It is very useful both for professionals and for everyone interested in this fascinating group of organisms. With a wheel or two at the start of each new batch of fungi, it is an attractive, illustrative way of getting to the right group quickly, certainly much more quickly than with technical synoptic keys. Fortunately, there is an index to genera on the front boards and an abbreviated glossary at the back. The arrangement, in groups of broadly similar-looking species, is user-friendly (for example, ’little brown mushrooms’, ‘clustered polypores’, ‘spiny corticoids’, ‘perennial, pale-fleshed white-rotters’ etc). They provide expert and detailed descriptions, disclose all significant defects and/or restorations, provide clear and accurate pricing, and operate with fairness and honesty during the purchase experience.

It contains brief descriptions, up-to-date taxonomic names, and keys to identification based on innovative “fungal wheels. The books are divided into eighty 'form groups', each starting with an innovative comparison wheel with guiding photos, distinguishing characteristics and drawings of essential microscopic features. In Denmark, the number of species of fungi currently known is about 8,000, and in the UK the figure is almost double that.There are roughly 7,000 colour photographs (yes, you read that right), many of them occupying a third or a half of a page. By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. With the new DNA-based techniques, fungi can be detected from any medium, including wood and soil samples.

This is a really practical book that will be a boon to field mycologists, especially in temperate regions. The books are divided into 80 “form groups” each starting with an innovative comparison wheel with guiding photos, distinguishing characteristics and drawings of essential microscopic features. Remarkably few field guides bother to do this, and so this aspect of the book gets a gold star from me. All species are illustrated with one or more photographs and information is given on morphology, ecology and distribution within temperate Europe. With its unprecedentedly broad taxonomic coverage, Fungi of Temperate Europe aims to provide a comprehensive overview of fungal species in Europe.Featuring more than 7,000 photographs, this lavish two-volume set treats more than 2,800 species of fungi across the region. It is a splendid example [ sic] how to present the multitude of forms in a way that makes identification possible and fun, while at the same time showing the beauty and diversity of fungi. The authors are to be congratulated on this truly remarkable achievement, making their many years of practical experience in macrofungal identification available to mycologists at large. This is an international publication, so there are no English names; and only the latest up-to-the-minute scientific names, although in many cases the authors mention the previous, more familiar, name. You get used to the faintly odd language, some of which is not in the glossary: for example, ‘meteoric’ (meaning, I think, appearing in sudden spasms at long intervals), ‘sordid’ (dirty-looking), ‘speciose’ (a genus with lots of species in it), ‘turgid’ (fresh and swollen with fluid).

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