Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The article is an invited book review of 'The Essential Guide to Rocky Mountain Mushrooms by Habitat' by Cathy L. Cripps, Vera S. Evenson, and Michael Kou (University of Illinois Press, 260 pages). The book is praised as a fresh approach to mushroom identification because the authors first familiarize readers with the habitat in which a given mushroom species is most likely to be encountered. Indicators of a given habitat are provided via photographs of diagnostic trees and other plants, plus birds, mammals and topography. However, the authors state, "the presence of larch, western hemlock, western red cedar, and grand fir complicates forest types and mushrooms; these trees species are not covered." The reviewer points out that several well known and popular edible mushrooms, mycorrhizal associates of these tree species, are therefore omitted. The review concludes by contrasting the guide with more comprehensive publications, but notes that the guide provides "a superior feel for 'lay of the land' mycology."
Technical Abstract: A mushroom guide book, 'The Essential Guide to Rocky Mountain Mushrooms by Habitat' by Cathy L. Cripps, Vera S. Evenson, and Michael Kou (University of Illinois Press, 260 pages), is reviewed in non-technical fashion from the standpoints of format, comprehensiveness, and clarity. Postive features (association of a given mushroom with a well-described habitat; instructions on taking a spore print; illustrated dichotomous keys; high quality photographs) as well as the book's limitations (no descriptions of microscopic characters; omission of some habitats associated with tree species not covered in the guide) are clearly explained to readers of the review.