Booklet on fungi

Booklet on fungi

The rainforest of the Anamalai hills in the Western Ghats provide ideal conditions for the occurrence of a wide diversity of remarkable fungi. Over the last few years, we have tried to document with photographs many of these fungi, trying to identify the species and learn more about their ecology. Over 27,000 species of fungi are known from India, and the Western Ghats is home to hundreds of species, with many more undoubtedly awaiting discovery. In an effort to stimulate interest in the fascinating fungi of the Anamalai hills, we have pulled together photographs and information into a new, beautifully-designed, and richly illustrated 56-page booklet:

Fungus Among Us: An Exploration of Fungi in the Anamalai Hills
by Ranjini Murali, P. Jeganathan, T. R. Shankar Raman, & Divya Mudappa
Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore (2012).

Download from here: PDF (3 MB)

This booklet presents a brief introduction to the rich diversity of fungi in the Anamalai hills, which we hope will encourage naturalists to observe this fascinating group in the field. Introductory sections outline fungal anatomy, reproduction and dispersal, and interesting facts and present a brief guide to field identification. The text of this publication is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0. Copyright for images remain with the respective photographers.

The fungi are grouped according to their macroscopic features as: cap and stem fungi, jelly fungi, coral and club fungi, shelf and bracket fungi, and other fungi. It was the observation of one such fungus, a purple-coloured clavaroid fungus (see the top-left photo on the right-side page in the spread below) that piqued our curiosity further and stimulated us to work towards bringing out this booklet.

The booklet took us nearly two years to put together. Here are a couple of other gorgeous page spreads from the booklet…

 

The fungi are identified only to Genus level, with photographs and brief accounts presented of 38 genera of fungi. A number of people helped in identification of the fungi (see below). The authors accept the responsibility for any errors that remain and would appreciate comments, corrections, and suggestions. Please send these to: divya@ncf-india.org.

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Kalyan Varma and Pavithra Sankaran for helping design this book and for their valuable suggestions. The booklet was published with support from the M. M. Muthiah Research Foundation, Chennai, and the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore. We are extremely grateful to Dr. N. Parthasarathy, Dr. Vadivelu Kumaresan, Dr. Gunasekaran Senthil Arasu, Dr. James Lindsey, Ms. Tanya Balcar, Mr. Robert Stewart, and the members of the mushroom expert forum for help with identification of the various genera. We would especially like to thank Dr. Tom May from Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne for taking the time and trouble to give us detailed comments that helped improve this booklet. We thank Atul Joshi for bringing the bioluminescent fungi to our attention. We also thank all the photographers for their generous contributions (photo credits on page 56).

The booklet was printed at TrailBlazer Printers and Publishers, Bangalore on Natural Evolution paper.

 

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