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Polypores and Similar Fungi of Eastern and Central North America

Polypores and Similar Fungi of Eastern and Central North America

This resource guide is the only color-illustrated work devoted to polypores of eastern and central North America—the first of its kind to be published since Gilbertson and Ryvarden’s 1987 North American Polypores

Series: Corrie Herring Hooks Endowment

September 2021
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448 pages | 7 x 10 | 309 color photos, 4 b&w illus., 2 color maps |

This is the first color-illustrated guide to polypores and similar fungi specific to the eastern and central regions of the United States and Canada. Welcoming and comprehensive, it accurately presents the currently available information about polypores, emphasizes identification based primarily on macroscopic field characters, and includes observational data drawn from the authors’ extensive experience. It includes new species and genera; addresses changing nomenclature; and provides details about polypores’ biology, morphology, composition, role as parasites, interactions with various arthropods, and purported medicinal applications. The book also highlights how changes in geology, soil structure, and plant species due to factors such as continental drift and climate change have affected the evolution of polypores. Featuring more than 240 species of polypores, extensive and easy-to-use dichotomous keys, and more than 300 color illustrations and multiple maps and line drawings, it is a must-have for amateur and professional mycologists, forest service personnel, mycophagists, and anyone interested in learning more about this remarkable group of fungi.

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
    • Geographic Area Covered by This Book
    • What Is a Polypore?
    • Macrocharacteristics of Polypores
    • Microcharacteristics of Polypores: Hyphal Systems
    • Polypore Nomenclature and Taxonomy: A Brief History
    • Historical and Contemporary Uses of Polypores
    • Evolution of Polypores and Their Host Trees
    • Forest Regions of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada
    • Types of Fungal Decay
    • Guidelines for Collecting and Preserving Polypores
    • The Identification Process: How to Identify Polypores
    • Using This Book
    • Explanation and Use of the Keys
  • Keys to Polypores and Similar Fungi
  • Species Descriptions and Illustrations
  • Appendixes
    • A. Microscopic Examination of Polypores
    • B. Chemical Reagents for Polypore Identification
    • C. How to Make a Spore Deposit
    • D. The Medicinal Uses of Polypores: A Brief History and Summaries of Current Research
    • E. Polypores Organized by Order, Family, Genus, and Species
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography and Resources
  • About the Authors
  • Illustration and Photography Credits
  • Index to Common Names
  • Index to Scientific Names

Alan E. Bessette is a professor emeritus of biology and has authored or coauthored more than twenty-five books.

Dianna Smith is past president of the Northeastern Mycological Federation and a former editor of The Mycophile.

Arleen R. Bessette has authored or coauthored eighteen books and several mycological papers.