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Boddy, Lynne ORCID: 2008. Editorial. Fungal Ecology 1 (1) , p. 1. 10.1016/j.funeco.2008.02.004

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Following the first use of the term by Ernst Haekel in 1869, ecology has had many definitions. A definition of fungal ecology that I like to use is an extension of Krebs' (1972) explanation for general ecology: Fungal ecology is the scientific study of the interactions that determine the distribution, abundance and activity of fungi. It is the purpose of this new journal to cover all aspects of this topic. Since understanding interactions, be they with the biotic or abiotic environment, is key to understanding ecology it comes as no surprise that this first issue contains three papers directly addressing this topic, including fungus-fungus, fungus-invertebrate and fungus abiotic environment interactions. In the future we hope that this will extend to fungus photobiont interactions – mycorrhizas, plant pathogens and lichens. Fungal ecology is a broad ranging discipline overlapping numerous other subject areas, including physiology, behaviour, evolution and genetics, and these too will hopefully be reflected in the journal. Biological systems operate at many levels from the biosphere, through ecosystems, communities, populations, individuals and many levels beyond this. Ecology, and equally Fungal Ecology, is largely concerned with the population level and above, drawing explanatory mechanisms from lower levels and biological significance from higher levels. We hope to publish papers on topics covering all of these ecologically relevant levels of integration, and contributions examining both synecology – study of groups of organisms associated as a unit, and autecology – study of individual organisms or species. Fungi are found in almost all ecosystems, and variety is hinted at in this issue with considerations of aquatic, soil, wood and food systems. Equally, they are spread throughout the globe, studies on three continents already featuring – North America, Europe and Asia. We await work from the other continents with anticipation. Frequently operating on a microscopic scale and often in opaque environments, fungi are inherently difficult to study in their natural environment. Thus, as with microbial ecology in general, progress is often limited by the current status of methodology. For this reason we will solicit mini reviews on, and experimental studies employing, innovative methodological approaches. The study in this issue using scanning electron microscopy to elucidate effects of leaf surface roughness on colonization success of aquatic hyphomycete conidia provides an example of the value of modern approaches. Modern methodologies will not only include practical experimental techniques, but also mathematical and in silico modelling and predictive approaches. The journal is not intending to publish obituaries regularly, but we have made an exception in this issue. Janie Pryce-Miller was an exuberant young fungal ecologist, whose untimely passing has left the fungal ecology community poorer. She would have been whole-heartedly behind this new journal, so it is fitting that we pay tribute to her here.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Additional Information: Available online 23 April 2008.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1754-5048
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 09:06

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