Originally published in 1993, A Guide to Kansas Mushrooms went out of print in 2017. Original author Richard Kay suggested his wife, Sherry Kay, could assume the undertaking of revising the book, collaborating with him working as a consultant. After Richard's death in 2018, Sherry later added two coauthors, Benjamin Sikes and Caleb Morse, to complete the task.
Kay, Sikes, and Morse have revised this new edition to account for the variety of ways mycology has changed in the last twenty-five years, while holding to its original purpose as a guide for active mushroomers. Primarily, A New Guide to Kansas Mushrooms highlights the upheaval in taxonomy caused by advances in molecular genetics: an estimated 25 percent of fungal names included in the original guide have changed since 1993. Second, the list of mushrooms found in Kansas has expanded and the new edition will add 50 species to the 150 described in the original guide. All anthology entries have been updated to reflect these changes in the field, and the essays have also been edited, reduced, or expanded to include updated information as well as brand-new material. The outdated genus-level classification of fungi has been replaced by two cladograms--diagrams that illustrate how organisms branch off from their last common ancestors.
This revised edition provides a wealth of new material on Kansas mushrooms that will aid and fascinate both newbies and seasoned mycophiles and includes information on online resources and notes on how to grow mushrooms in Kansas. While the book fully treats 200 species, readers will be able to identify 320 different macrofungi using the keys and discussions. Additionally, the book introduces readers to fascinating, common slime molds (myxomycetes). A New Guide to Kansas Mushrooms incorporates new understanding of fungal taxonomy that has been largely unearthed by genetic tools over the past three decades, highlights key taxa, and includes a life list of the more than 1,200 species now cataloged from Kansas--nearly twice the number known at the time of the first edition.