MICSCAPE BOOK REVIEW by Frank Rowntree

FUNDAMENTALS OF THE FUNGI

by Elizabeth Moore-Landecker

Prentice Hall 4th. Edition 1996 688 pp. Illus. 22.95.


Mycology, the study of the Fungi has been a popular interest with microscopists since it had its beginnings in the eighteenth century and users of the then quite primitive viewing devices became fascinated with the variety of structures revealed with the magnifying lens. This fascination continues today as the techniques and facilities for examination have improved over the years and as the importance of fungi to human and animal health and to industry and commerce has been recognised.

The beginner is often overwhelmed by the plethora of literature available which ranges between the minimally useful popular text to the complex and advanced scientific treatise. This very readable book strikes the happy medium and using a biological approach provides a broad introduction to mycology from both the macro and microscopical viewpoint exploring the more dynamic aspects of the subject in an interesting way taking in morphology, taxonomy, evolution, physiology and ecology.

The text is clear and accessible and superbly illustrated by an enormous number of diagrams, drawings, photographs and electron micrographs. Their usefulness and relevance to the microscopist as well as the field mycologist cannot be overemphasised. There is too an extensive range of references in the book which will facilitate further study or enquiry.

Economically priced this is an excellent comprehensive text for biologist or microscopist alike.

F St D Rowntree

 

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