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Fungi of Extreme Environments

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Fungal Ecology


The majority of fungi are mesophiles, and grow at temperatures in the range of 5–35°C with optimum temperatures for growth between 25 and 30°C. Fungi exist, however, which grow very well outside the mesophilic temperature range; some are cold-tolerant (psychrotolerant) and are capable of growth near or below 0°C, while others are heat-tolerant (thermotolerant) and grow above 40°C. Many thermotolerant fungi grow over most of the mesophilic range but others are so highly adapted to growth in hot conditions that they can grow only at relatively high temperatures. These are the so-called thermophiles (heat-lovers) with high optimum temperatures for growth, and defined by Cooney and Emerson (1964) as those fungi unable to grow below 20°C. Similarly, among psychrotolerant species psychrophiles exist with low maximum and optimum temperatures for growth (Table 12.1).

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© 1995 Neville J Dix and John Webster

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Dix, N.J., Webster, J. (1995). Fungi of Extreme Environments. In: Fungal Ecology. Springer, Dordrecht.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-010-4299-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-011-0693-1

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