From the foreword:
"Fungi play a major, although often underestimated, role in all terrestrial ecosystems. This is even true for one of the most extreme situations in Continental Antarctica, where very little primary biomass is produced by plants. Endolithic existence is an unusual way of fungal life which has reached a high development in this icy continent. The limited studies undertaken on the restricted diversity of the Antarctic mycoflora can still allow for a comprehensive overview.
The authors provide an exhaustive account of these studies for sub-Antarctic and maritime Antarctic regions as well as Continental Antarctica, the main scope of this book. Most of the mycological studies are recent and identifications are generally supported by molecular work, which means that they are reliable. Older observations are also cited with critical annotations regarding the identifications. This situation contrasts with soil fungal analyses in other continents, where an indefinite fungal diversity has been documented by unmanageable numbers of publications, and the obviously high percentage of misidentifications can by no means be assessed. The present work is obviously inspired by the Compendium of Soil Fungi, but takes advantage of the extra precision allowed by the limitations indicated above.
Prof. Onofri is priviledged to harbour the most important culture collection of Antarctic fungi, the Culture Collection of Fungi from Extreme Environments, CCFEE, in his institute in Viterbo; Italy. He and his coauthors have been involved in local inventorying work for many years and are thus the most competent authorities to compile all the accumulated information on these fungi. Each species is morphologically clearly described and illustrated, and ecological and some physiological features, including those collected outside Antarctica, are compiled, and records of collections made within Antarctica are listed. This book will be an indispensable source of information for all further studies on Antarctic fungi."