Biodiversity of Fungi
Inventory and Monitoring Methods
- Mercedes Foster, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, U.S.A.
- Gerald Bills, Merck Sharp and Dohme de Espana, Madrid, Spain
- Greg Mueller, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Biodiversity of Fungi is essential for anyone collecting and/or monitoring any fungi. Fascinating and beautiful, fungi are vital components of nearly all ecosystems and impact human health and our economy in a myriad of ways. Standardized methods for documenting diversity and distribution have been lacking. A wealth of information, especially regrading sampling protocols, compiled by an international team of fungal biologists, make Biodiversity of Fungi an incredible and fundamental resource for the study of organismal biodiversity. Chapters cover everything from what is a fungus, to maintaining and organizing a permanent study collection with associated databases; from protocols for sampling slime molds to insect associated fungi; from fungi growing on and in animals and plants to mushrooms and truffles. The chapters are arranged both ecologically and by sampling method rather than by taxonomic group for ease of use. The information presented here is intended for everyone interested in fungi, anyone who needs tools to study them in nature including naturalists, land managers, ecologists, mycologists, and even citizen scientists and sophiscated amateurs.
The audience is diverse and represented by: a. Academics and students. for use in advanced mycology courses, summer field courses in mycology, or in courses in a Departments of Environmental Science that deal with environmental monitoring, in training courses for technicians and field personnel who will carry out inventories or monitor fungal populations, and in a conservation biology courses. b. Resource Managers, Conservationists, and Amateurs. for use by those creating an inventory of the biodiversity, in such activities pursued by academics, resource managers, conservationists, and amateurs, and by individuals associated with state and federal land-management agencies, museum personnel, and conservation NGOs, and by individuals from developed countries, training in sampling methodologies, specimen maintenance, and data analysis is usually provided to local counterparts (e.g., technicians, researchers, students, field biologists). c. Environmental Health Market. for use in programs monitoring the health, management, and use of different habitats, for managers and to agencies responsible for monitoring air, water, and ground pollution and for tracking the health of wildlife populations, including commercial and government entities responsible for carrying out environmental impact studies. d. Commercial Market. for use by individuals engaged in medical research, screening for substances with pharmaceutical or other medical uses, as well as those engaged in screening for substances of potential industrial use.