Introduction

Ecology is the scientific study of relations and interactions between organisms and their environment. Fungi are no different. Their growth indoors follows similar ecological principles. It is well understood that fungal spores are ubiquitous indoors and outdoors and that fungi require moisture, nutrients, reasonable temperature, oxygen, and a substrate to grow on. Fungal spores may exploit niches found in the indoor environments and grow when the appropriate requirements are available. Although observations have been made and described to a certain degree regarding fungi and the indoor environment, there has been very little or no systematic study or review of fungal ecology indoors by mycologists. An attempt was made to discuss "the fungal ecology of indoor environments."1 The four-page section was so short and simplistic as to provide the reader a disservice. However, the intrinsic relationship between fungi and their growth requirements in the indoor setting have not been fully evaluated and discussed. A more recent review on indoor fungal ecology provides good and useful information.2

This chapter reviews existing mycology literature and discusses the ecology of indoor fungi on the basis of current knowledge as well as the authors experience and observations.

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