From the preface:
"Information on rust fungi affecting the vegetation in various forest ecosystems in Kerala is meager. Most of the available information on rust fungi in this region was generated during the 1940s and 1950s by the pioneering researchers like Prof. T.S. Ramakrishnan which forms the knowledge base of this important group of obligatory fungi. During the 1980s, I have studied the rust fungi causing diseases in teak (Tectona grandis), rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) and Bombax ceiba, in forest nurseries and plantations in the State as part of a systematic disease survey. Recently, during the course of a biodiversity inventory on plant pathogenic fungi in the Kerala part of the Western Ghats, a few more rust fungi were collected from different forest ecosystems.
However, an interaction with Dr. Yasuyuki Hiratsuka, world authority on rust fungi, at an International Congress in 2007 inspired me to embark upon a detailed study of rust fungi in this region. Representative forest areas in the State were systematically surveyed and quite a large number of rust fungi associated with host plants in different forest ecosystems viz., evergreen, semievergreen, shola forests, moist-deciduous and deciduous forests, forest nurseries and plantations were encountered. A total of 95 species of rust fungi belonging to 25 genera associated with 117 host species belonging to 80 host genera under 43 host families were collected and studied. Of these, 15 are hitherto undescribed taxa. The recent taxonomic concept of rust fungi has been followed and taxa have been rearranged and described. I hope this volume will be useful to students, teachers and researchers in plant pathology / rnycology and fungal biodiversity."
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