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Amazon Shop for: Microscope

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Offlineleafing
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microscope
    #3936883 - 03/18/05 07:40 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

does anyone find buying a microscope for mushroom identification worht it?. meaning is it a sure way to know exactly what your species is?.. is there anyone on this site that does this aswell?


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"The psychedelic experience is just the temporary disruption of psychophysics and the telepathic emergence of synchronic linguistics "


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Offlineivi
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Re: microscope [Re: leafing]
    #3936959 - 03/18/05 07:55 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

It certainly is worth getting a microscope if you are serious about mycology. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that only DNA analyses beat the good ol' microscope. Of course you'll need to accumulate a certain level of knowledge in mushroom morphology and taxonomy to successfully use it in mushroom identification.


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: microscope [Re: leafing]
    #3937313 - 03/18/05 09:10 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I'll answer your question, in part, with a quote from Meinhard Moser (one of the great mycologists):

Amateurs are often unprepared to identify fungi on the basis of anything other than macroscopic characteristics. This may be an attitude still prevailing from the time when the concept of the species was very much wider than it is today, when knowledge of fungal structure was not as extensive as modern research techniques have now made it. In view of these developments many amateurs are driven, on the other hand, to the false belief that while it was once possible to identify fungi macroscopically it is no longer possible to do so today. The fact of the matter is that it never was possible, that there was only the illusion (sincerely believed, certainly) of correct identification. The identifications were either inexact or actually completely wrong. The examination of old herbaria can be extremely surprising! For this reason older flora lists are more or less unusable. Certainly there are genera, a large proportion at least, of whose species can still be identified accurately with the help of macroscopic characteristics.



With several genera (Galerina and Inocybe come to mind right away) you are not going to be able to identify accurately without a microscope.

DNA is a method currently being used to group and split species. After the DNA results, ordinary macro- and microscopic characteristics are determined that allow the species to be determined without DNA testing.

For learning how to use a microscope, try the How to Identify Mushrooms to Genus series of books from Mad River Press.

In addition to having a microscope and the ability to use it correctly to examine what you need, you will also need a reference library that covers the genera you are interested in. Moser's book (Keys to Agarics and Boleti) is an excellent general reference. Unfortunately, it is also out of print. For genera you have a greater interest in you will need to find copies of the most current monographs. Those can be very difficult to find and very expensive. Try checking out your local university library to see if they have some of these books that you can borrow.

Good luck and happy mushrooming!


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Offlinekadakuda
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Re: microscope [Re: ToxicMan]
    #3937562 - 03/18/05 10:12 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

do you have a link that describes the measurement of spores? my mic goes up to 1000X and i can get pics...but i jsut dont see how usefull it is without a reference and/or size.


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: microscope [Re: kadakuda]
    #3938037 - 03/19/05 12:27 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Most books and many web pages include spore sizes in their descriptions. Mykoweb, for example, includes spore descriptions for the species they list.

The biggest thing you need to do if you want to measure spores is to calibrate your microscope. The best way to do that is with a stage micrometer. Stage micrometers are expensive (more than $100), so you probably won't want to purchase one. You might try checking with your local science teachers to see if they would let you bring in your microscope and you could borrow their micrometer long enough to calibrate. If you do a google search on "stage micrometer" you'll find pages that'll tell you how to use one to calibrate your microscope.

Happy mushrooming!


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Happy mushrooming!


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Offlinekadakuda
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Re: microscope [Re: ToxicMan]
    #3938272 - 03/19/05 01:41 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

sweet thanks man. you suggest universities, highschools..? where would you expect better equipment and generous people?

thanks for the info.


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Invisiblemjshroomer
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Re: microscope [Re: kadakuda]
    #3939073 - 03/19/05 09:29 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Remember that you need to be enrolled in a high school or in a college to use those microscopes. I have posted here somewhere some of the toys I play with int he labs at the University inBangkok. Including the SEM.

mj


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: microscope [Re: kadakuda]
    #3939344 - 03/19/05 11:39 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Colleges and universities usually have more money than high schools, so they will usually have better equipment. As mj mentioned, you will very probably have to be enrolled as a student at the school to be allowed to use any equipment, including a stage micrometer. If you are a registered student you are likely to get help from the science teacher on how to do things.

Happy mushrooming!


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Happy mushrooming!


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Offlinekadakuda
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Re: microscope [Re: ToxicMan]
    #3939361 - 03/19/05 11:44 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

crap.  im not enrolled at any form of school.  but i have helped out doing feild studies at the local university.  maybe if i play my cards right :grin:

thanks for the info!  muchly appreciated!


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The seeds you won't sow are the plants you dont grow.


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Amazon Shop for: Microscope

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