Slayers, Saviors, Servants and Sex - An Expose of Kingdom Fungi
This is a book is aimed at the general reader interested in the world of
fungi. The author believes that everyone should know more about fungi. These
organisms have killed us, saved us and served us since before written records
began. They have been used in making bread, brewing ale, and fermenting wine
for millennia. Crops have been at the mercy of fungal diseases since we became
farmers, and they still are. Fungal diseases have caused large demographic
changes - from the great plague of 'St. Anthony's Fire' of the Middle Ages
(caused by a fungal toxin) to the Irish mass migration to the Americas during
the famine (caused by a fungal disease of the potato crop). Fungi can also be
thanked for antibiotics. However, the book asks, do we fully appreciate the
revolution in life style (and life expectancy) that these taken-for-granted
treatments permit? Fungi enabled plants (by a mutualistic combination that
persists today) to invade the land during the evolution of life on Earth.
Higher fungi are almost unique in their ability to decay the chemical
components of timber. Without the wood-rotting fungi we would be up to our eyes
in dead trees. Fungi give us the opportunity of treating plant diseases and
killing specific weeds, as well as being very useful for cleaning up polluted
environments and for producing chemicals. Overall this book explains why it is
worth while to look again at fungi and appreciate these extraordinary organisms
for what they are: a vital component of our lives and of the Earth's ecosystem.
Softcover 210 pages ISBN 9780387950983
Hardcover 210 pages ISBN 9780387951010
- Toxins - kill the primates, rule the world. or: don't turn your back
on a fungus!
- Blights, rusts, bunts and mycoses.
- Decay and degradation, a fungal specialty.
- Joining forces - fungal co-operative ventures.
- Fungi in medicine - antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals.
- Turning the tables. using fungi to control other pests.
- Let's party!
- The old kingdom in time and space.
- Birds do it. bees do it. even educated fleas do it. but why?
- The cavalry is coming. Fungi to the rescue.
- Word games and solutions to word games.
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