First steps for beginners

 

 

 

This is where we begin to explain the jargon and advise about all sorts of things by providing you with published articles about the topics. Most of these articles were published in our magazines Mycologist and Field Mycology. All you have to do is click on the hyperlinks in the descriptions below to download the article. Read and enjoy!

 

Explaining the jargon

First steps in the classroom

Venturing into field study

Mushroom or toadstool?

More serious field work

Organized help with field study

 

Copy freely for the classroom

Classroom materials may be copied freely for educational purposes only. All rights reserved for commercial use. © British Mycological Society 2005.

 

 

First, about that jargon. In this series of Mycologist articles, Jack Marriott explains all those peculiar terms that are used to describe fungal fruit bodies.

Part 1 deals with the parts of the fruit body

Part 2 with the shape of the cap and the cap margin

Part 3 with the stem and the gills (or pores, or spines)

Part 4 deals with microscopical characters of cap, stem and spores

Part 5 deals with fruit bodies that are not mushrooms

These are the formal references for the articles available in this section:

Marriott, J.V.R. (1988). First steps: the jargon explained and illustrated. Mycologist 2: 29-30.

Marriott, J.V.R. (1988). First steps: the jargon explained and illustrated - 2. Mycologist 2: 76-77.

Marriott, J.V.R. (1988). First steps: the jargon explained and illustrated - 3. Mycologist 2: 104-105.

Marriott, J.V.R. (1988). First steps: the jargon explained and illustrated - 4. Mycologist 2: 166-167.

Marriott, J.V.R. (1989). First steps: the jargon explained and illustrated - 5. Mycologist 3: 192-193.

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With early school years in mind, Sheila Francis advises about collecting in the field and suggests a few things you can do in the classroom.

What you need for that first foray

Tips for running a foray

A winter foray in Sweden

Foraying in Queensland, Australia

Collecting aquatic fungi from local streams

What you can do with mushrooms from the shop

Make a spore print

More about spore prints

Make a ceramic model

Make some bread

Make a microscope slide

Make a section

Measure a spore

These are the formal references for the articles available in this section:

Francis, S. M. (1987). Fungi in schools. First foray. Mycologist 1: 108.

Assinder, S. & Rutter G. (2005). How the mushroom got its spots - Appendix VIII: Tips for running a foray

Francis, S. M. & Holm, K. (1989). Fungi in schools. Fungus foray 2. Mycologist 3: 113.

Francis, S. M. & Alcorn, J. (1990). Fungi in schools. Foray 3. Mycologist 4: 140.

Francis, S. M. (1991). Fungi in schools. Fungus foray 4. Mycologist 5: 148.

Francis, S. M. (1987). Fungi in schools. Mushrooms. Mycologist 1:12.

Francis, S. M. (1987). Fungi in schools. Spore prints. Mycologist 1:78.

Storey, M. (2005). Making spore prints. Field Mycology 6: 104-106.

Francis, S. M. (1988). Fungi in schools. Making a ceramic model. Mycologist 2:164.

Francis, S. M. (1989). Fungi in schools. Making bread. Mycologist 3: 35-36.

Francis, S. M. (1991). Fungi in schools. Making a slide. Mycologist 5:.41.

Francis, S. M. (1991). Fungi in schools. Make a section. Mycologist 5:.92.

Francis, S. M. (1991). Fungi in schools. Measure a spore. Mycologist 5: 183

Don't overlook the resources that are available elsewhere on this site, particularly Fungus Fred goes Foraying, How the Mushroom got its Spots, and the Fungi Name Trail and Pocket Guide to Commoner Fungi, which are all detailed on the page offering Key Stage 2/3 resources.

 

We also offer, for you to read on-line, a few chapters taken from the book Slayers, Saviors, Servants, and Sex: An Exposť of Kingdom Fungi by David Moore; published by Springer-Verlag, New York: 2001, ISBN 0387950982.

Chapter 2: Blights, rusts, bunts and mycoses. Tales of fungal diseases  [CLICK HERE to download]

Chapter 3: Decay and degradation, a fungal speciality [CLICK HERE to download]

Chapter 4: Joining forces - fungal co-operative ventures [CLICK HERE to download]

Chapter 5: Fungi in medicine ‑ antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals [CLICK HERE to download]

 If you like what you read here, you might feel like buying the book - CLICK HERE for purchasing information.

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If you do start looking at fungi out there in the great outdoors, it will not be long before you realise just how many fungi there are and how diverse they are. In this series of articles Sheila Francis, Bruce Ing, Margaret Holden, Dave Minter, Tom Preece, Hedda Weitz and Chris Yeates introduce their favourite places and favourite fungi.

Why not look for truffles?

Some fungi that shoot their spores

Fairy rings

Stinkhorns

Birdsnests and other fungi with spores dispersed by rain splashes

Brackets on trees

Fungi that hunt worms

Jelly fungi

Tar-spot fungi

Fungi that glow in the dark

More about bioluminescence

Why not look at slime moulds?

Why not look at dung fungi?

Puffballs

Fungi in gardens

Little black spots on leaves and twigs

Powdery mildews

Why not look at the rust fungi?

Diseases of herbs

These are the formal references for the articles available in this section:

Francis, S. M. (1987). Fungi in schools. Truffle hunting and truffle eating. Mycologist 1:170.

Francis, S. M. (1988). Fungi in schools. Fungus guns. Mycologist 2:12-13 and 78-79.

Francis, S. M. (1989). Fungi in schools. Fairy rings. Mycologist 3: 76.

Francis, S. M. (1989). Fungi in schools. Stinkhorns. Mycologist 3:190-191.

Francis, S. M. (1990). Fungi in schools. Spores and splashes. Mycologist 4: 41.

Francis, S. M. (1990). Fungi in schools. Brackets on trees. Mycologist 4:190-191.

Francis, S. M. (1992). Fungi in schools. Fungus traps. Mycologist 6: 5.

Francis, S. M. (1992). Fungi in schools. Jelly fungi. Mycologist 6: 78-79.

Francis, S. M. (1992). Fungi in schools. Tar-spot fungus. Mycologist 6: 129.

Francis, S. M. (1992). Fungi in schools. Night lights. Mycologist 6: 180.

Weitz, H.J. (2004). Naturally bioluminescent fungi. Mycologist 18: 4-5.

Ing, B. (1987). First steps, a beginnerís guide: Why not study myxomycetes? Mycologist 1: 162-163.

Ing, B. (1989). First steps: Why not look at dung fungi? Mycologist 3: 33-34.

Ing, B. (1989). First steps: Puffballs. Mycologist 3: 126-127.

Holden, M. (1989). First steps: Fungi in gardens. Mycologist 3: 78-79.

Minter, D.W. (1990). First steps: Little black spots on leaves and twigs. Mycologist 4: 38-39.

Ing, B. (1990). An introduction to British powdery mildews - 1. Mycologist 4: 46.

Yeates, C. (1990). First steps: Why not look at the rust fungi? Mycologist 4: 108-109.

Preece, T.F. & Preece, S. (1993). Entyloma serotinum causing smut disease of borage in Britain. Mycologist 7: 112.

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People often ask about the difference between 'mushrooms' and 'toadstools'. The fact is, that both these words are unscientific 'folk' terms - in most cases they mean what you want them to mean. These two papers by Tony Baker explore the origins of the two words.

Baker, T. (1989). Origins of the word 'mushroom'. Mycologist 3: 88-90. CLICK HERE to download the full text.

Baker, T. (1990). The word 'toadstool' in Britain. Mycologist 4:25-29. CLICK HERE to download the full text.

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If you get really interested in collecting fungi you should look at the following documents (click the hyperlinks to download them), the first two give the British Mycological Society's advice on striking the balance between picking and conserving fungi:

British Mycological Society Conservation Policy [CLICK HERE to download]

The Wild Mushroom Picker's Code of Conduct [CLICK HERE to download]

The next three will help you to get really serious about the whole business of collecting fungi. The first is a list of English and scientific names for UK fungi, the second is the British Mycological Society's guide to serious collectors (those who want to record and really study fungi in nature), and the final document is Teachers Guide 5 from our Key Stages for Fungi teaching resource, which has a collection of information and advice about Local Fungus Groups, books (especially field guides), and Internet resources.

List of Recommended English Names For Fungi in the UK [CLICK HERE to download]

Collecting and Recording Fungi - a Guide produced by Richard Iliffe [CLICK HERE to download]

TG05: Discover More [CLICK HERE to download]

 

The British Mycological Society has maintained a computerized database of Fungal Records (now known as the BMSFRD) since 1986. BMSFRD currently contains over a million records of fungi from British Mycological Society forays, local recording groups and individuals, and published records of British fungi. The database, and how to use it, are described in more detail in Collecting and Recording Fungi [CLICK HERE to download]. You can visit the BMSFRD Web pages using the following hyperlink: BMS Fungal Records Database

 

The data in the BMSFRD can be used to produce maps of the distribution of species and to supply records for the use of official agencies and other organizations for conservation purposes. You can use this hyperlink to use the distribution maps: BMS Distribution Maps

 

Why not visit the BMS website? Point your browser to this address for the most extensive information resource on fungal biology on the Internet: www.britmycolsoc.org.uk.

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Organized help with field study

 

We have a detailed guide to the information you need to enjoy a school trip safely. Download PDF file or MSWord.doc by clicking the hyperlinks.

 

Many of the wardens in local nature reserves and field centres organize fungal walks so it's always worth checking their programmes to see if they can offer activities for school parties.

 

There are almost 40 Local Fungus Recording Groups around the country, and the British Mycological Society organizes a Network to which most belong. They're made up of enthusiasts who run them on a voluntary basis. We would recommend schools make contact with their local group(s) because they are very often keen to share their knowledge of wild fungi. The groups offer a friendly and welcoming environment that helps new members thoroughly enjoy the world of fungi and improve identification skills, but members of these groups are sometimes willing to give talks or organize workshops in schools.

 

You can find a list of contact addresses in TG05: Discover More [CLICK HERE to download]. To make contact, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the group(s) nearest to you.

 

Several of the Local Fungus Recording Groups have their own web pages. This is a list of hyperlinks to those we know about:

Association of British Fungus Groups
Buckinghamshire Fungus Group
Devon Fungus Group
Dorset Fungus Group

Dublin Naturalists Field Club Fungus Working Group
East Yorkshire Fungus Group
Fungi to be With (London Group)
Fungus Group of South East Scotland
Grampian Fungus Group
Gwent Fungus Group
Hampshire Fungus Group
Huntingdon Fungus Group
Melbourn Mushroom Club
Mid Yorkshire Fungus Group
Norfolk Fungus Study Group
Northern Ireland Fungus Group
North East Fungus Study Group
North West Fungus Group
Nottinghamshire Fungi Group
Pembrokeshire Fungus Recording Network
Warwickshire Fungus Survey
West Weald Fungus Recording Group

 

And don't forget English Nature, The Field Studies Council, Plantlife International, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), all of which make a considerable investment in environmental education.

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Fungi for Schools - an integrated  collection of teaching resources © British Mycological Society 2005

19/09/2006