This blog is about general biology of fungi in a New Zealand. The blogs that appear are stimulated by what I see around me, questions that I receive, what is topical in the public and scientific media, and from historical material that has been forgotten about but is worth remembering. I’ll treat this as a wiki-style blog and try my best to interlink blogs where relevant and update them as new information comes to hand.
Why I’m I writing about this blog? I worked for a number of years as a mycologist and although working in another field now still receive specimens to identify and questions from the general public and experts. Fungi are interesting and I want to promote a better understanding of them with the wider public. Along with Don Horn we have published a general guide to Mushrooms and other fungi in New Zealand.
There is also a very good over-view of the fungi of New Zealand in the recently published New Zealand inventory of biodiversity, volume 3. There is also a chapter Phylum Basidiomycota: mushrooms, rusts, smuts and kin which has a complete list of all the species so far recorded in New Zealand. I was a co-author on both these chapter.
Another useful book is The Fungi of New Zealand, volume 1: introduction to fungi of New Zealand. This volume seeks to provide a foundation for understanding New Zealand’s fungi, including taxonomic, ecological, historical, and cultural knowledge about fungi, along with inventories of recorded species. I was a co-author on the introductory chapter.
An introduction to the diseases of forest and amenity trees was written by me and Margaret Dick from notes prepared for teaching courses on forest and amenity tree diseases for tree health surveillance staff in government and industry, and is a basic introduction. Tree health surveillance in New Zealand concentrates on exotic plantation species and in particular Pinus radiata. However, knowledge of the diseases of some amenity and native species, especially in the urban landscape, is also required as surveillance staff may be required to carry out surveys for new disease introductions. The majority of the diseases described are fungal.