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Mushrooms of Northeastern North America
By Alan E. Bessette, Arleen R. Bessette, and David W. Fischer
1997, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse NY
642 Color Photographs -- 582 pages -- 7" x 10"

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     This encyclopedic volume, including nearly 1500 species and 650 color photographs, illustrates the diversity of mycoflora throughout northeastern North America. Professional and advanced mycologists will welcome the inclusion of microscopic features, chemical reagent data, information on classification, and author citations. The user-friendly keys and nontechnical language will appeal to the novice mushroom collector, as will the introductory information on fungal anatomy, collecting techniques, and mushroom cooking and preservation.
 
     It is our hope that whatever the reason for your interest in mushrooms—whether it be for scientific study, the search for edible species, or for the sheer appreciation of their beauty—this book will serve as a trustworthy and inspiring guide to mushrooms of northeastern North America.


Preface

     In 1868, botanist Charles Horton Peck began studying the fungi of northeastern North America. Before his pioneering efforts, few of this continent’s endemic mushrooms had been described and named. Over the next forty years, Peck described and named more than 3,000 species of fungi—the lion’s share of this continent’s native mushrooms. For this reason, he has been called “the father of modern American mycology.” Some of these were specimens sent to Peck by other collectors, but the bulk were collected by Peck himself. When Peck retired after suffering a stroke in 1915, his work was nowhere near completion. Even today, the region’s diverse ecosystems yield mushrooms that are as yet unnamed.
 
     Northeastern North America boasts a wealth of extraordinarily diverse habitats for collecting and studying mushrooms. The botanical, geological and climatic variations between one area of this region and another are, in many cases, remarkable. For example, some mushroom species that are common to the White Mountains of New Hampshire or the Adirondack Mountains of New York are rare or unknown in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey or the coastal pine-oak forests of Massachusetts. Even between areas that are relatively close to each other, there can be surprising variation between their mycofloras. From bogs to sand plains, mountain tops to coastal lowlands, the Northeast is virtually unrivaled in its ecological diversity.
 
     Countless professional and amateur mycologists have continued Peck’s work. Although vast numbers of specimens have been deposited in various herbaria throughout the region, no single work devoted solely to the diversity of its fungi has yet been published. This book introduces this mycoflora. Beautiful color photographs, combined with non-technical descriptions and easy-to-follow keys, are provided to assist both experienced and beginning mushroom hunters with accurate identification of species.
 
     It is our hope that whatever the reason for one’s interest in mushrooms—whether it be for scientific study, the search for edible species, or sheer appreciation of their beauty—this book will serve as a trustworthy and inspiring guide to mushrooms of northeastern North America.

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View Sample Illustrations and Descriptions


View a List of Treated Taxa
Based on the book’s Index to Scientific Names


Check out the book's
Key to the Genera of Gilled Mushrooms


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Acknowledgments

Many people have assisted us with this work. We are grateful for their myriad contributions. We thank the following persons for mycological notes, technical information, and assistance with species identification: Timothy J. Baroni, Harold H. Burdsall, Jr., Edward Bosman, Ernst E. Both, William R. Burk, Raymond M. Fatto, Robert Gilbertson, John H. Haines, Richard L. Homola, Bruce Horn, Richard P. Korf, Currie D. Marr, Orson K. Miller, Jr., Gregory Mueller, Clark Ovrebo, Ronald Petersen, Donald Pfister, Scott Redhead, Samuel S. Ristich, Clark Rogerson, William C. Roody, Walter E. Sturgeon, Rodham E. Tulloss, Eugene Varney, and James J. Worrall. Thanks also to Sheldon Cushing, Raymond M. Fatto, Emily Johnson, Peter Katsaros, Richard Kay, Samuel S. Ristich, William C. Roody, and Walter E. Sturgeon for contributing slides which greatly enhanced this book. We thank the following individuals who made valuable mycological contributions of specimens for photography and study: William K. Chapman, David Harris, Nancy Hinman, Alma and Robert Ingalls, Peter Molesky, Sally Reymers, Jessica Scialdo, and Helen and Ralph Wagner. We are grateful to Sam Norris for the beautiful mushroom illustration included in the Introduction. We thank the members of the mushroom clubs who have invited us to share their fungi and their knowledge of them. We greatly appreciate the efforts and contributions of Ernst E. Both who reviewed the bolete section of the manuscript, Bettie McDavid Mason who copyedited the manuscript, and Christopher Kuntze who designed the book, all of whom made valuable comments and suggestions for its improvement. We are especially grateful to Robert Mandel and his staff at Syracuse University Press who made this book possible.


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Mushrooms of Northeastern North America is also available through booksellers nationwide.


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