714 pages, colour photos
Language: Bilingual in English and Italian
Photographic atlas of this fungal group which includes the truffles.
From the introduction:
"We decided to give this book a completely new title (Funghi Ipogei in Europa, by Montecchi & Sarasini), Montecchi being also the co-author of the previous text on the same argument (Atlante Fotografico di Funghi Ipogei, by Montecchi & Lazzari), since the characteristics, the aims, the extent of the contents and the context of studies and experiences meanwhile matured are quite different. The Atlante Fotografico di Funghi Ipogei aimed at being a first important photographic document of the species studied, accompanied by historical arguments and comparisons with the original descriptions of the authors of the species. The Atlas also aimed at spreading the knowledge on this particular group of fungi, of which Italy seems to be rather rich, and it also aimed at becoming an incentive for the research in this field.
The copious bibliography and the detailed history of the studies carried out not only in Europe but also in extra-European countries until 1992, Australia and various islands included, are today one of most important datum-point both for readers and researchers, even not Italian. In Italy, in the past few years, not only did the study of hypogeous fungi greatly develop, but also the number of researchers like ourselves, looking at the hypogeous fungi to study them, discovering sometimes new species, publishing articles and participating to specific meetings to exchange experiences and to “initiate” an increasing number of enthusiasts, has greatly increased. Many years ago, one of the first “initiated” was just one of us, Mario Sarasini, who from the very beginning went out to look for hypogeous fungi with A. Bincoletto and the two dogs Dik and Dora, just in the Lombardy and neighbouring region areas which had been once “beated” by Vittadini and Mattirolo. In an everytime more enlarged atmosphere of exchanging experiences and materials for studying, there were several occasions to confront and exchange opinions with Montecchi, one of the “main actors of
the initiation” (G. Lazzari died unfortunately in 1993) and the experience of these years greatly increased, recently also due to the great contributions and provision of materials for the herbarium SA-BI (Sarasini-Bincoletto), mainly by A. De Vito and D. Bolognini, but also thanks to many other people. It became therefore natural at a certain moment the idea to put together our common experiences; and this fact is made evident by mentioning, in the text of the descriptions of the various species, the various collections and observations coming from the two herbaria M.L. (Montecchi and Lazzari) and SA-BI.
In the meantime A. Montecchi increased his already great experience, also due to the specimens collected by other researchers from many other countries, who contacted him to have an advice, a confirmation or to carry out a complete new determination; furthermore also the contacts with various researchers, both amateurs and experts of important universities, greatly intensified in Italy. It is therefore important to remind that also with the main European researchers of hypogeous fungi, also in this case both amateurs and university experts, new relations were created or got stronger, either through several specific conventions on this subject or through a copious exchange of letters; the “signs” of all these above mentioned collaborations can be found and also seen in the text of this work.
Finally, thanks to the several studies carried out in the universities and related to the phylogenetic relationships between the various species, in the past few years new concepts and new criteria of differentiation were asserted. As a consequence a new systematics, different from the previous one, has been proposed as a datum-point, which probably is still not deeply known by amateurs researchers, especially as far as the relationships between the different groups of hypogeous fungi are concerned.
In conclusion, we would like to stress that several factors, among which the request of the increasing number of amateur researchers, the new systematics, the increased experience of the authors and of their colleague-researchers in Italy and in other European countries, the great number of different species newly found or known for the first time after 1992, etc., dictated the conditions for a general updating and a complete remaking of the first atlas.
The new work presents the following main aspects:
- 179 species illustrated (66 more as compared to those present in the Atlante Fotografico di Funghi Ipogei).
- a more detailed description of the species according to the new classification (see the related illustrated paragraph).
- keys of determination at the beginning of each taxonomic group, i.e.:
- at the bottom of the description of the various orders to determine the family
- at the bottom of the description of each family to determine the genus
- at the bottom of the description of each genus to determine the species
- insertion in the descriptive text of taxonomic notes, which should be greatly helpful to the researcher for a correct determination and which should also be a warning signal of possible mistakes as well as an indication of any peculiar aspect.
- insertion at the bottom of the descriptions of a partially new kind of remarks which include the report of comparative studies, mistakes made, corrections, etc., and also all those small notions, skills and “tricks” reflecting, as much as possible, the experience of the authors which can not be included in a description, no matter how detailed it is.
- topographical references for each species, indicating the provinces both for the Italian collections and for those coming from other countries, related to the many collections gathered in the herbaria M.L. and SA-BI (see paragraph “methods and materials”), with full descriptions conceming the habitat and the growing substrates.
- a glossary of the main mycological terms used and normally mentioned by the researchers of hypogeous fungi.
- the English translation of all texts."
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