CA Mushrooms
CA Mushrooms

Book Review

Entoloma s.l.
(Subgenera Cyanula, Leptonia, Nolanea, Trichopilus, and the/Rhombisporum Clade)

By Machiel Noordeloos, Olga Morozova, Bálint Dima, Kai Reschke, Gerrit Jansen, Tor Erik Brandrud, John Bjarne Jordal, Egil Bendiksen, Jordi Vila
Fungi Europaei Vol. 5B and Flora Agaricina Neerlandica Vol. 1, Supplement
2022; Candusso Editrice
ISBN 978-88-943710-3-1
Hardcover, 17 × 24 cm, 968 pp.
89.00 € (~$95 as of February 2023)

Not as well-known in North America as it should be, Fungi Europaei is an information packed series of illustrated monographs on European macrofungi. The authors of the 19 volumes published to date are well-known European specialists in the genera (or families) monographed, and all the volumes include full descriptions of the macromorphology and microanatomy of the species presented, accompanied by black and white line drawings and high-quality color illustrations.

This newest book in the series represents the first half of a second updating of Machiel Noordeloos’s original Entoloma s.l., published in 1992 as Fungi Europaei Vol. 5 and first updated by him in 2004 (Vol. 5A), and also serves to update the Entoloma part of Flora Agaricina Neerlandica, Vol. 1 (1988). It covers 211 species in subgenera Cyanula, Leptonia, Nolanea, and Trichopilus, plus the /Rhombisporum clade. The forthcoming second half of the new update will cover the remainder of the genus and is expected to be available in about 2 years. Volume 5B reflects a notable change from the general species concept utilized in the earlier volumes, from a traditional morphospecies one to one based on morphology and the results of phylogenetic analyses utilizing DNA sequences (ITS and sometimes also LSU), plus consideration of ecology and distribution. This often changed how previously recognized species were viewed and resulted in a number of new species in addition to new species that were described based on specimens collected in previously less-studied areas and habitats. Commendably, throughout the taxonomic work, the authors endeavored to obtain DNA sequences from type material to anchor their species concepts and this often required designation of neotypes or epitypes.

The general part of the book consists of nine chapters, presented primarily in English—Foreword; Introduction; Concept of This Work; Species Concept and Cryptic Speciation; Phylogenetic Considerations; How to Study Entoloma; Morphological Characters (well illustrated with color macro and micro photos); Ecology, Distribution, and Conservation; and Acknowledgments. The taxonomic part includes Synopsis of the European Taxa Treated; Keys to the Species Treated in the Volume; descriptions of the species organized by subgenus; the main Iconographic section; References; and Index of Scientific Names.

The keys are presented in English, Italian, and Dutch. They are based mostly on macro- and micromorphological characters that should be fairly easy to interpret and they lead to species and species complexes that can be morphologically characterized. The species treatments also are presented in English, Italian, and Dutch. They include the currently accepted (by these authors) name and MycoBank number, reference(s) to type material, meaning of the specific epithet, the type description in its original language, detailed description of the macro- and microscopic characters, habitat and distribution in Europe, and commentary (“Notes”). The text is supported with line drawings, mostly of spores and cystidia and over 1,000 color photographs, including many micrographs. The generally excellent photographs are, in most cases, of specimens for which an ITS barcode sequence has been deposited in GenBank (an appendix with the GenBank accession numbers reportedly will be included in the second half of the revised volume).

If you happen to already have Volume 5 and/or 5A, should you dump them to save bookshelf space (about 3-1/2 inches total for the two)? Definitely not. Although 5B has complete descriptions, I can certainly envision a need to revisit the older descriptions given the many changes in interpretation of the species. And the photos in the new volume are different from those in 5A and the nicely rendered color illustrations in 5 provide additional views of the species, allowing one to gain a greater appreciation for the intraspecific variation than is possible from a single image. So, to get the best result, one will want to have all three volumes. But why would a North American need them? Once upon a time when writing a review of a European book, I would count the number of species in it that were thought to also occur in North America, thinking that this would allow me to gauge how useful the book would be for identifying the fungi found on our continent. Now DNA analyses have shown that many of the European species that I might have counted as also occurring here probably do not. Instead, we have similar, but not identical, species of our own. So, even if the European book does not, in many cases at least, allow us to directly identify our species, having high-quality descriptions and images of the European fungi backed by DNA sequences (including from type material!) will be extremely valuable in determining which species we share and which we do not. On this basis I heartily recommend this new offering in the Fungi Europaei series.

Note: The 19 volumes of Fungi Europaei published thus far are:
With the exception of Vol. 2A, all are listed as available on the Edizioni Candusso website as of February 2023.

— Review by Steve Trudell
— Originally published in Fungi