The ubiquitous fungi are little known and vastly underappreciated. Yet, without them we wouldn't have bread, alcohol, cheese, tofu, or the unique flavors of mushrooms, morels, and truffles. We can't survive without fungi. "The Kingdom Fungi" provides a comprehensive look at the biology, structure, and morphological diversity of these necessary organisms. It sheds light on their ecologically important roles in nature, their fascinating relationships with people, plants, and animals, and their practical applications in the manufacture of food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. The book includes information about 'true' fungi, fungus-like creatures (slime molds and water molds), and a group of 'composite' organisms (lichens) that are more than just fungi. Particular attention is given to examples of fungi that might be found in the home and encountered in nature. "The Kingdom Fungi" is a useful introductory text for naturalists, mycologists, and anyone who wants to become more familiar with, and more appreciative of, the fascinating world of fungi.
Steven L. Stephenson is a research professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he served as director of a worldwide project funded by the National Science Foundation to document the distribution of all the slime molds and their relatives. Prior to this he taught biology at Fairmont State University in West Virginia for nearly three decades. Dr. Stephenson has studied fungi and slime molds on six continents in climates ranging from the tropics to the polar regions of both the Arctic and Subantarctic. He is author/co-author of numerous publications, including Myxomycetes: A Handbook of Slime Molds (Timber Press, 1994) and Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of the World (Timber Press, 2003).