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Mushroom Resources

We consider the following books, websites, and online journals to be the best resources in their class for mushroom taxonomists in Alaska. Many of them are also useful across the West Coast and the continent in general.

Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (Steve Trudell and Joe Ammirati) This excellent field guide features beautiful photos and brief descriptions of over 450 species of mushrooms considered by the authors to be “the regions most conspicuous, distinctive, interesting, and ecologically important”. Most species in this field guide occur along Alaska’s southern coasts, making this a must have field guide for Southern Alaska.

Purchase Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast

Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast helps beginning and experienced mushroom hunters alike find and identify mushrooms. Common and conspicuous species, delicious edibles, toxic and deadly species, and distinctive rarities are all covered in this user-friendly reference, which covers the diversity found in coastal California from Monterey County to the Oregon border. With full treatments of more than 750 species, and references to hundreds more, tips on mushroom collecting, descriptions of specific habitats and bio-zones, updated taxonomy, and stunning photography, this book is the most modern and comprehensive guide to mushrooms in the region. Each species profile pairs a photograph with an in-depth description, as well as notes on ecology, edibility, toxicity, and look-alike species. Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast is an indispensable book for anyone curious about fungi.

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The Alaskan Mushroom Hunter’s Guide

The Alaskan Mushroom Hunter’s Guide First published in 1977 The Alaskan Mushroom Hunter’s Guide (Ben Guild) includes watercolor illustrations and descriptions of 101 common mushrooms found in Alaska. Huge advances in taxonomy have rendered many of the species names outdated or inaccurate, however this field guide remains a great reference to add to any Alaskan mushroom enthusiast’s bookshelf.

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Mushrooms of Alaska’s National Forests

Mushrooms of Alaska’s National Forests (Steve Trudell, Kate Mohatt, and Karen Dillman) This booklet offers photographs and descriptions of 51 species of mushrooms commonly found in Southern Alaska. It can be found online or hard copies are available at most US Forest Service offices in Alaska for FREE!

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Mushrooms of the Boreal Forest

Mushrooms of the Boreal Forest (Eugene F. Bossenmaier) This University of Saskatchewan field guide includes over 200 species with color photographs and descriptions arranged by major groups. Many species in this field guide are unique to boreal forests, commonly found in Alaska, and not found in other field guides. The below link goes to a companion website which includes an online key developed by the late author.

Visit Mushrooms of the Boreal Forest Companion Website

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Mushrooms Demystified

Mushrooms Demystified David Arora's classic text sets the standard for mushroom field guides, and remains unsurpassed. The depth and breadth of this book combined with the quality of descriptions really set it apart. It is very clear that Arora is more familiar with the species that he writes about than anyone else was at the time. Although most of the photos are in black and white (and many species are not illustrated) and the taxonomy and nomenclature are now very dated, it's easy to cross-reference the information in this book with more up-to-date sources online; this is still absolutely required text for mushroom identification enthusiasts of any level. Although it covers all groups of macrofungi across the United States and Canada, its focus is centered on agarics and boletes, and on central California and the west in general.

The writing is clear, entertaining, and thoughtful. This book is a treasure, and an absolute must-have.

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All that the Rain Promises and More

All that the Rain Promises and More David Arora's second publication, this pocket-sized field guide features all color photographs, but covers far fewer species than its bigger brother, Mushrooms Demystified. The coverage is also less local, meaning that more users across the country will get some use out of it, but a user in any given area will find many species in the woods that are not covered in the book, and vice versa. Even though it may be of relatively limited taxonomic use, this book has a unique place in a mushroomer's library due to its profiles of mycophiles and interesting tales, tidbits, and outright works of fiction regarding mushroom culture.

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Fungal Diversity Survey

Fungal Diversity Survey Website The homepage for the Fungal Diversity Survey. Formerly the North American Mycoflora Project.



iNaturalist Website is a social network for naturalists! Record your observations of plants and animals, share them with friends and researchers, and learn about the natural world.



Mushroom Matchmaker Website Matchmaker is a free downloadable application that provides access to thousands of pacific northwest mushroom species, illustrations and descriptions. This program features an easy to use interface for entering mushroom characteristics to aid in identification.


Mushroom Observer

Mushroom Observer Website A very dynamic citizen-science database, especially useful for recording occurrence, range, and morphological variation. A large, international community of amateur and professional mycologists upload photos and observations, propose and vote on potential identifications, and discuss a wide range of topics. With a little practice, the mapping and advanced search functions make the database a useful tool to answer specific questions. Data quality varies greatly, so familiarity with the site's protocols and its core group of users is essential to getting the most value from the database.



Mycoportal Website Although is still mostly incomplete, MycoPortal has the potential to become an outstanding resource for North American fungi. By digitizing and georeferencing the data associated with new as well as historical herbarium specimens, this site will make it possible to assemble species lists for particular regions that are supported by vouchers. This kind of data is absolutely key to building a reliable mycoflora for North America. Herbarium collections for the Santa Cruz Mycoflora Project can be viewed here.



Mykoweb Website Mike Wood's excellent site devoted exclusively to coverage of California's macrofungi. The quality and abundance of the images on the site are its main strengths. Also very useful are the lists of references, and inclusion of many montane and Sierra Nevada species. Treatment of taxa with small or rare fruitbodies is somewhat lacking, and coverage of species from the northern spruce and hemlock zones is notably weak.


Mushroom Expert

Mushroom Expert Website Michael Kuo's website deals mostly with mushrooms of the Eastern half of the United States, but the introductory pages dealing with general aspects of mushroom collection and study (found on the home page under 'Studying Mushrooms') are excellent. His commentaries on past research, current practices, and directions for future investigation are very valuable. He has also organized data collection projects involving citizen scientists that yield valuable insights and clarify taxonomy of American fungi (The Stinkhorn Project, and Morels of North America).



Mycobank Website A repository of mushroom names, including their authors, dates and details of publication, and often time much more (brief descriptions, images of microscopic details). This resource is still being built, but is very useful when researching the origins of a mushroom name in question. Links to outside resources (DNA sequences at Genbank, etc) are still being implemented, but will be extremely handy.


Index Fungorum

Index Fungorum Website Like MycoBank, another nomenclature database that acts as a repository for species names and the various kinds of data associated with them. Great for researching synonymy and priority naming issues, and overall remarkably up-to-date. Not as multifunctional as MycoBank, and not quite as modern of a user interface, but still very useful.



Wikipedia Website Although very useful because it's constantly updated and contains links to much outside reference material, Wikipedia should be used carefully. The phylogenies are often quite up-to-date, but the data is very inconsistent, and in many cases only preliminary. Many Mushroom Observer users are involved in building Wikipedia pages, so the data is continually getting better. You could help too!



Cybertruffle Website Thanks to Cybertruffle, digital copies of many journals, old books, and other mycology print resources are available for free online. The site is a bit clunky, the scanned resources are not searchable, (and often must be paged through one page-scan image at a time), but this is an absolutely invaluable resource for engaging primary literature. We use the scanned versions of past issues of Mycologia most frequently.



Mycokey Website Although this site originated as companion material for Funga Nordica (a print key and mycoflora of the Nordic European countries), the interactivity, breadth of coverage, and very well-done generic descriptions are broadly useful for the northern hemisphere temperate zone. We often use the descriptions to search for candidate genera in cases of very difficult identifications. Users can purchase access to a much greater volume of material and interactive tools and data that can be downloaded. This provides much inspiration for what a well-done and functional North American Mycoflora might look like.


Russulales News

Russulales News Website "A joint effort of an international team of enthusiastic, young mycologists ... aiming to cover all aspects of Russulales worldwide and in the phylogenetic sense of the order: all groups of mushrooms that share a common ancestor with Russula and Lactarius... The mycologists that will keep this website up-to-date may have very different interests, these can be with hypogeous as well as with resupinate taxa instead or with the typical agaricoid Russula or Lactarius."

Although incomplete, the breadth and depth of data available here are invaluable for serious students of this fascinating and difficult order of fungi.



Mycotaxon Website An online-only publication of fungal taxonomy, every issue of mycotaxon is worth reading, even if not immediately relevant to local species, at least for the perspective it presents on the state of the art worldwide.



Mycologia Website Mycologia is the official journal of the Mycological Society of America. It publishes papers on all aspects of the fungi, including lichens. Subjects appropriate to the journal are physiology and biochemistry, ecology, pathology, development and morphology, systematics, cell biology and ultrastructure, genetics, molecular biology, evolution, applied aspects, and new techniques.


North American Fungi

North American Fungi Website An online-only journal that publishes original, peer-reviewed articles on Fungi (Chytrids, Zygomycetes, lichenized and non-lichenized Ascomycetes, and Basidiomycetes) as well as other organisms traditionally studied by mycologists, such as Oomycetes and slime molds. The journal is freely available worldwide, at no cost to authors, readers, or libraries. Electronic publication enables authors to include color illustrations, extensive lists of references, specimen citations, and supplemental materials. Manuscripts are published following rigorous peer review. In order to expedite publication, postings occur as soon as manuscripts are ready for publication rather than at set intervals. Due to its open nature and low cost for all parties, probably should become the new golden standard for amateurs publishing taxonomic articles.