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Methods for studying terrestrial fungal ecology and diversity

Published: October 1st, 2007

Revised: July 21st, 2014

Thorn RG, Scott JA, Lachance MA. 2007. Methods for studying terrestrial fungal ecology and diversity In: Methods for General and Molecular Microbiology, 3rd ed Reddy CA, Beveridge TJ, Breznak JA, Marzluf GA, Schmidt TM, Snyder LR (eds). Washington, DC.: ASM Press. pp 929–951.


There is increasing recognition that exposures to indoor environmental fungi and their emissions are associated with a range of human illnesses. As a result, the detection, identification and quantification of indoor fungi, particularly molds, has become an important part of the testing mandate of many environmental testing laboratories, particularly commercial laboratories. In contrast to bacteriology and food microbiology, the commercialization of analytical environmental mycology has posed a number of challenges to laboratorians, primarily due to the lack of standard testing procedures and evaluation criteria. This chapter section discusses several sampling methods that are used commonly in commercial mycology laboratories for the assessment of populations of fungi in home and indoor work environments.

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