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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Academic & Professional Books  Mycology

The Allure of Fungi

By: Alison Pouliot(Author)
280 pages, colour photos
Publisher: CSIRO
The Allure of Fungi
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  • The Allure of Fungi ISBN: 9781486308576 Paperback Sep 2018 Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Price: £42.95
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Although relatively little known, fungi provide the links between the terrestrial organisms and ecosystems that underpin our functioning planet.

The Allure of Fungi presents fungi through multiple perspectives – those of mycologists and ecologists, foragers and forayers, naturalists and farmers, aesthetes and artists, philosophers and Traditional Owners. It explores how a history of entrenched fears and misconceptions about fungi has led to their near absence in Australian ecological consciousness and biodiversity conservation.

Through a combination of text and visual essays, the author reflects on how aesthetic, sensate experience deepened by scientific knowledge offers the best chance for understanding fungi, the forest and human interactions with them.



Chapter 1 – An introduction to entangled worlds
- Beyond mushrooms to mycelium
- Thinking, un-thinking, re-thinking fungi
- Fungal places – from Down Under to the Swiss Alps
- Seeking fungi
- What’s inside?
- Photo essay - The mycelial matrix

Chapter 2 – Meeting mushrooms
- First fungal acquaintances
- Describing the undefinable
- Biological umbrellas
- From goblets to lattice balls
- Lichenised life on the edge
- Extremist specialists
- What fungi do – alliance as norm
- Rethinking parasites
- Fungal rotters
- Photo essay - Endless forms most bizarre

Chapter 3 – Life in the subterrain
- Different hemispheres, different fungi
- Undesirable dwellings – dirt, litter and dung
- In not on
- Litter and literacy
- Disco in a cow pat
- A cargo of the uncanny
- Displaced fungi
- Retreating underground
- Photo essay - Fungal grub and fungal havens

Chapter 4 – A stubbly bun skirmish
- Mushrooming from shady obscurity
- From moushrimpes to mucerons
- Of toads and toadstools
- Articulating fungi
- Idiomatic mushrooms
- Ergonomic fungi
- A meander of mycelia
- Words to conserve
- Metaphorical mushrooms
- Re-chanting the fungal lexicon
- Photo essay - Biological umbrellas

Chapter 5 – Wicked wild mushrooms – a morality tale
- Thievish and voracious beggars – origin myths
- Rotting and disgusting – unsettling traits
- Fairy cakes and trompettes de la mort
- The death cap arrives in Australia
- Sniffing out safety – toying with toxic mushrooms
- Indeterminate and morphologically bizarre
- Trouble from elsewhere – conservation and invaders
- Photo essay - Recycling worlds

Chapter 6 – Organising fungi
- The last of the natural historians
- The desire to divide
- Bounded and boundless – individuality and plurality
- Why names matter
- Naming and claiming – scientific and vernacular names
- Tallying fungi
- What makes a mushroom?
- Photo essay - Undersides

Chapter 7 – Knowing fungi otherwise
- A farmer’s way of knowing
- Aboriginal knowing
- Feeling like a mushroom – sensory knowing
- Fine-tuning to fungi
- Fungal olfaction – reigniting smell
- Getting back in touch
- Slow motion mushrooms
- Photo essay - Collecting

Chapter 8 – Foraging and foraying
- Train-stopping mushrooms
- Fungologists seeking funguses – foraying for fungi
- Strange and new-fangled meates – foraging for fungi
- On morel grounds
- High altitude hunting
- Wild desires and treacherous gratifications
- Rethinking fungal expertise
- Photo essay - Lichenised lives

Chapter 9 – A call for fungal wisdom
- Fungi in a changing world
- A fiscal fungal fantasy
- Lists and the list-less
- Reassessing biodiversity
- Looking with the heart – from managing to caring
- Re-enchanting the fungal imagination


Customer Reviews


Alison Pouliot is a natural historian who is passionate about fungi. She moves between northern and southern hemispheres to have two autumns each year, guaranteeing a double dose of fungi. Her extraordinary photographs reflect her research on the ecology and conservation of fungi. In this book she documents a forgotten corner of the natural world that is both beguiling and fundamental to life.

By: Alison Pouliot(Author)
280 pages, colour photos
Publisher: CSIRO
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