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Fungi of Temperate Europe: Volume 1+2

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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. First published in Denmark with the title, Nordeuropas Svampe, this is a detailed identification guide to "more or less the whole fungal kingdom. It, in turn, is based on a method devised by the authors and their colleagues, available online as the MycoKey. Identification wheels for groups of agarics: Pleurotoids; Clitocyboids; Hygrocyboids; Mycenoids; Tricholomatoids; Collybioids; Marasmioids; Cystoderma and the like; Lepiotoids; Chamaemyces and Limacella; Amanitoids; Russula; Lactarioids; Pluteoids; Agaricus and Allopsalliota; Coprinoids; Psathyrelloids; Hypholomatoids; Gomphidioids and Melanomphalia; Pholiotoids; Little Brown Mushrooms (LBMs); Inocybe; Hebeloma; Cortinarius; Paxillus and the like. 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).

There has been quite a run of mushroom books lately, each outdoing the last in terms of the quality of the illustrations, but this one simply takes your breath away. The text, including the usual introductory section on fungal lives and identification, is, allowing for its international flavour, excellent. Including agarics, boletes, chanterelles and morels but also more obscure groups such as cyphelloids, cup fungi, pyrenomycetous fungi and hysterioids, this guide takes an unprecedented broad approach at communicating fungal diversity. the greatest strength of Fungi of Temperate Europe lies in its illustrations, which, I repeat, are simply glorious.

In Denmark, the number of species of fungi currently known is about 8,000, and in the UK the figure is almost double that.

The habitat descriptions seem broadly appropriate to British conditions (we are in the ‘nemoral’ zone). Although the authors do their level best to make the subject accessible – jargon is minimal – the book will be most useful to those with some previous experience of identifying fungi. By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. He has previously been a senior scientific officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and associate professor at the University of Copenhagen. Here the task is facilitated by grouping together look-alikes, and, crucially, describing the differences between them.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. But the greatest strength of Fungi of Temperate Europe lies in its illustrations, which, I repeat, are simply glorious. Revealing the world of fungi in all its splendour, Fungi of Temperate Europe is a must-have resource for any amateur or professional mycologist. something all field mycologists who see it will want to have on the bench near their microscopes when making identifications. He taught mycology at Aarhus University for more than 20 years and is the author of The Kingdom of Fungi (Princeton).

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