Volume 1B - Introduction: Fungi in the Environment

Fungi of Australia1B, Introduction - Fungi in the Environment cover

Fungi of Australia
Volume 1B
Introduction: Fungi in the Environment

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Fungi are the second largest group of organisms in the world, after the insects. Although primarily microscopic and thus usually unseen, fungi are ubiquitous organisms that mediate critical biological and ecological processes. They have significant roles as saprotrophs in the breakdown and nutrient cycling of plant and animal remains, as parasites and disease agents, as food, and in mutualistic relationships.

They have a wide range of interactions with humans, acting as biological control agents on crops and as sources of food. They have significant impacts on agriculture, forestry and stored food, and are implicated in some diseases and poisonings.

Fungi also interact with insects and other animals in a multitude of ways. Many are pathogenic, some provide a key food resource, others are toxic. A number of microfungi are specialist commensals of herbivores, living in their gut and undertaking the crucial breakdown of cellulose.

All of the above topics are explored in the thirteen essays which make up this book. They are intended to provide a review of present knowledge, with references to the wider literature. Together they show just how much is already known of the vital role fungi play in our world. More importantly, they signpost the major gaps in our knowledge, and indicate the necessity of continuing (and accelerating) research in Australian mycology.

About this book

Book series: Fungi of Australia
Publishers: Australian Biological Resources Study/CSIRO Publishing
Year: 1996
Authors: Various
ISBN-10: 0 643 05935 0
ISBN-13: 978 0 643 05935 1
ISBN-10: 0 643 05936 9
ISBN-13: 978 0 643 05936 8
Hardcover set:
ISBN-10: 0 643 05890 7
ISBN-13: 978 0 643 05890 3
Softcover set:
ISBN-10: 0 643 05891 5
ISBN-13: 978 0 643 05891 0
Size: 250 × 176 mm (B5)
Number of pages: xxiii + 405 pages, index, glossary
Binding: Hardcover, section stitched
Illustrations: 65 colour plates, 13 black and white plates, 1 map