A CLOSER LOOK AT MUSHROOMS
by Jan Parmentier
|Mushrooms belong to the fifth kingdom in nature, the fungi. Fungi are the major recyclers in nature. Most fungi are microscopic, they exists as filaments in soil or decaying wood. Mushrooms are fungi that reproduce via macroscopic fruiting bodies, forming spores. Especially in a wet autumn, the colourful world of the mushrooms is a fascinating sight.|
|Identifying mushrooms is not
easy. In The Netherlands about 3500 species can be found.
For at least half that number, a microscopic
investigation of spores and special cells is necessary
for a reliable identification. And for the other half
with enough macroscopic characteristics, a lot of
experience, good books and the help of experts is often
needed. In this short article we will touch only upon a
few general features of mushrooms, interesting for the
general microscopist and easily to see.
Even without a lens, mushrooms are a feast for the eyes. The macrophotographs show beautiful, brightly coloured examples.
|Most mushrooms belong to one of two classes: the Basidiomycetes and the Ascomycetes. The difference between these two classes is the way of spore forming.|
|If you want to make a serious study of
mushrooms, join the local mushroom club. (in the
Netherlands: Nederlandse Mycologische Vereniging ,
Biologisch Station Wijster, Kampsweg 27, 9418 PD
Bruno Erb, Walther Matheis; Pilzmikroskopie. Stuttgart: Frankckh, 1982
Michael Jordan, The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe, David and Charles 1995,
Gerrit J. Keizer , Paddestoelen Encyclopedie, Rebo Productions 1997
Comments to the author Jan Parmentier are welcomed.
© Jan Parmentier 1998
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Published in October 1998 Micscape Magazine.
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