Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: How Forests Function

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In Trees, Truffles, and Beasts, Chris Maser, Andrew W. Claridge, and James M. Trappe make a compelling case that in order to develop sustainable ecosystem policies, we must first understand the complexity and interdependency of species and habitats. Comparing forests in the Pacific Northwestern United States and Southeastern mainland of Australia, the authors show how easily observable species-trees and mammals-are part of an infrastructure that includes fungi, lichens, and organisms invisible to the naked eye, such as microbes.

Eminently readable, this important book shows that forests are far more complicated than most of us might think, which means simplistic policies will not save them. Understanding the biophysical intricacies of our life-support systems just might.

About the Author:
Chris Maser is a writer, environmental consultant, and master's level zoologist who has written over twenty books

About the Author:
Andrew W. Claridge is a research scientist with the Department of Environment and Climate Change in New South Wales, Australia

About the Author:
James M. Trappe is a professor of forest science specializing in forest fungi at Oregon State University, Corvallis

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Editorial Reviews

Deputy Chief (ret.), USDA Forest Service - Jim Furnish

Accurate and authentic, Trees, Truffles, and Beasts makes a major contribution to the field of natural resource management. This is a clear and compelling argument that there's much more to forests than meets the eye.
professor and director of Rutgers University Pinelands Field Station - John Dighton

This book is an excellent introduction to the world of mycorrhizal fungi in forests and their importance in food webs as highlighted by truffles. This book should encourage readers to investigate further the intricate and essential interactions occurring in forests, which make them work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813542263
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 851,357
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Maser is a writer, environmental consultant, and master's level zoologist who has written over twenty books, including Mammals of the Pacific Northwest and Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest.Andrew W. Claridge is a research scientist with the Department of Environment and Conservation in New South Wales, Australia. He has authored or co-authored over fifty publications about the interactions among trees, truffles, and animals and undertaken research at postgraduate and postdoctoral levels in both Australia and the United States of America. James M. Trappe is a professor of forest science specializing in forest fungi at Oregon State University, Corvallis, and the author of almost four hundred journal articles and book chapters.
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Table of Contents

Foreword   Charles J. Krebs     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction     1
The Scope of This Book, from the Microlevel to Infinity     1
Forests Are a Study in Complexity     4
Soil Is Every Forest's Foundation     6
People and Forests Are Inseparable     9
The Forest We See     14
Composition, Structure, and Function     15
Pacific Northwestern United States versus Southeastern Mainland Australia     17
The Unseen Forest     35
The Genesis of Soil     35
Physical Weathering     36
Chemical Weathering     36
The Addition of Organic Material to Mineral Soil     37
The Living Community within the Soil     38
The Nitrogen Fixers     40
Scavengers, the Recyclers in the Soil     43
The Environment Is a Seamless Whole     45
Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: Coevolution in Action     50
In the Beginning     50
Mycorrhizae Enter the Scene     51
Fungal Nourishment: Decomposition and Symbiosis     55
Global Diversification of Organisms, Unification of Functions     60
Host Specificity and Forest Succession     61
Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: Spore Dispersal through Mycophagy     67
Of Animals and Fungi     75
Obligate Mycophagists     76
Preferential Mycophagists     79
Casual or Opportunistic Mycophagists     85
Accidental Mycophagists     88
Preferences in Fungal Diets     89
Invertebrate Mycophagists     90
The Importance of Mycophagy     92
The Fungal Feast: Nutritional Rewards of Mycophagy     92
Macroelements     94
Microelements     94
Proteins and Amino Acids     95
Carbohydrates     95
Fats and Fatty Acids     96
Vitamins     96
Nutrient Availability, Symbiosis, and Digestive Strategy     97
Truffle Diversity, the Key to Mycophagist Nutrition     100
Ecosystem Services of Mycophagy     100
Mycophagy Interactions with Soil Moisture     101
Mycophagy Initiates and Maintains Truffle Diversity     102
Landscape Patterns and Fire     105
Landscape Patterns     105
The Role of Fire in Forests     110
Fire in the Western United States     111
Fire in Southeastern Mainland Australia      121
Lessons from Byadbo, Mount St. Helens, Omeo, and Beyond     134
The Mycorrhizal Response to Disturbance     137
The Role of Spore Dispersal by Mycophagy     139
Emulating Fire Patterns     142
Forest Succession and Habitat Dynamics     145
Developmental Stages of the Forest     146
Autogenic Succession above Ground     146
Autogenic Succession below Ground     152
The Dynamics of Habitat     154
Food     155
Water     155
Shelter     156
Privacy     157
Space     157
Landscape Patterns     159
United States     161
Australia     162
Humankind's Fragmentation     163
Equality among Species     173
Of Lifestyles and Shared Habitats     175
A Glimpse of Two U.S. Forests     175
A Glimpse of Two Australian Forests     190
Ecological Services of Mycophagous Mammals     202
The Fungal Connection     203
The Fruit-Body Connection     203
The Squirrel Connection     203
The Pellet Connection     204
Mycophagy as a Basis of Infrastructural Relationships     206
Putting It All Together     207
Partitioning Habitat in the United States     207
Partitioning Habitat in Australia     213
Partitioning Food in the United States     217
Partitioning Food in Australia     221
Temporal Segregation in the United States     221
Temporal Segregation in Australia     221
The Importance of Ecological "Backups"     223
Lessons from the Trees, the Truffles, and the Beasts     225
Shifting Our Focus     227
Products and Biological Capital     228
North American Common and Scientific Names     233
Australian Common and Scientific Names     237
Notes     241
Glossary     259
Index     267
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