Myxomycetes of Ohio:
Their Systematics, Biology, and Use in Teaching

by

Harold W. Keller and Karl L. Braun


The "nuts and bolts" of this remarkable work are concisely described in a marketing flyer from the Ohio Biological Survey, a portion of which I quote here:

"There are about 215 myxomycete species reported for Ohio, which equals about 61% of the 350 species known from North America and about 35% of the species known world-wide. These species are representative of temperate North America. Although Ohio Myxomycetes are highlighted, the systematic treatment utilizes world keys to all known orders, families and genera of Myxomycetes.Also included are illustrations and sections on synonymy, collections examined, geographical distribution, habitats, ecology, collection and care of specimens, the moist chamber technique, microscopic study of specimens..."

I received a spiral bound copy for review and found it to be of excellent quality throughout. It has a wealth of detailed information, clearly presented, and includes a series of very nice color photographs, as well as reproductions of a set of lovely watercolors by Ka Botzis. As a student of Physarum with little or no experience in field work, I can offer no critical insight as to the bulk of this book, but I DO wish to comment on the introductory sections. From the inside of the front cover (institutional members of the Ohio Biological Survey), through the extensive introductory sections (some 40 pages), I found the material well written, informative and engaging. Brief biographies of the authors, comments (including pictures) on earlier investigators and where they worked, methods for collecting and storing specimens, a "generalized life cycle and morphology", and suggestions for high school research projects are just some of the worthwhile materials that await the reader.

I should note that this volume is another "labor of love", of the sort that Physarologists know very well. It is the result of years of collaborative effort by Harold Keller and Karl Braun. They will receive no royalties from its sale. The Ohio Biological Survey is a non-profit organization and its marketing of such volumes is intended only to help defray the cost of production (which I assume is substantial, given the quality of the color plates). While the title might suggest "only" regional utility, I suspect this work will be of value to students of the myxomycetes throughout the world and am sure it will be enjoyed even by those of us who "only" study Physarum at the molecular level.

For ordering information, address all inquiries concerning publications to:

Ohio Biological Survey
P.O. Box 21370
Columbus, OH 43221-0370

Phone: 614-457-8787
FAX: 614-415-6005
EMAIL: ohiobiosurvey@rrohio.com
WEBSITE: www.ohiobiologicalsurvey.org

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Ohio residents add 6.75 % sales tax. To avoid confusion, please include first author and year of publication with your order if you do not use the order form provided. Orders will be sent by 4th class mail. Payment must be by MasterCard, Visa, check or money order (in U.S. dollars or drawn on a U.S. bank).

Mark R. Adelman
October 1999


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