Fungi­pedia

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - OUR WILD WORLD -

BY LAWRENCE MILL­MAN, PRINCE­TON UNIVER­SITY PRESS, £9.99

This pocket-sized com­pen­dium is a lively com­bi­na­tion of clearly ex­plained sci­ence, en­ter­tain­ing cul­tural ref­er­ences and pot­ted bi­ogra­phies of lead­ing per­son­al­i­ties in the world of my­col­ogy. Fungi tend to grab our at­ten­tion in au­tumn when they pro­duce their spec­tac­u­lar fruit­ing bod­ies but, for most of their life-cy­cle, they are hid­den from view, re­cy­cling nu­tri­ents in ecosys­tems and gen­er­ally main­tain­ing the health of the planet. No other or­gan­isms il­lus­trate so well the in­ter­con­nect­ed­ness of the liv­ing world. If your fun­gal for­ays have been lim­ited to iden­ti­fy­ing toad­stools, this A-Z of the fun­gal king­dom, writ­ten with pro­found knowl­edge and wry good hu­mour, will be a rev­e­la­tion. Botanist

Phil Gates

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