The investigation of fungi in Panama, as in most tropical countries, is still in a pioneer phase, although Panamanian fungi are studied since many years and are highly diverse. The present book is a tool to promote the analysis of Panamanian fungi, especially the macroscopical ones or mushrooms, and the knowledge about edible, medicinal, and ecologically important species. As Panama is located at the contact point of land continental masses, North and South America, it is an important biological corridor, resulting in an elevated biodiversity, especially of fungi.
The present book is the first one of its kind on macroscopical fungi of Panama and one of few books available about tropical fungi. It is profusely illustrated with 708 figures of photographs and original drawings of the most important micro- and macroscopical structures of each species and written in simple Spanish language, appropriate for all public, but on a scientific base. More than 600 species are discussed, with 220 of them being illustrated and described together with their respective synonyms. In addition to this, around 180 species previously reported for Panama are cited, around 90 which are closely related to the species investigated.
The book is divided into four parts. The first one, the Introduction includes information about previous studies on Panamanian fungi, the biogeographical situation and the vegetation of Panama, the morphology, structure, and biology of a fungus and the explorations realized by the authors. In the second part, the classification of the species considered is analysed. In the third part, simple keys for the identification of the groups, genera and species of fungi considered in the book are presented. Finally, the fourth and most extensive part includes descriptions and illustrations of the 220 species studied. These parts are followed by a glossary and 182 bibliographical references on fungi in Panamá, in addition more than 140 references which are important for the identification or the discussion of the fungi considered. Two appendices, one on new observations of species investigated, elaborated when the book already was in its final phase, and a second including the taxonomic order of all species discussed or enumerated, also form part of the book, together with a list of species described in alphabetical order, with its taxonomic positions and synonyms. The book ends with an index of genera and species considered.