Taphonomic Mycota: Fungi with Forensic Potential

    Volume 48, Issue 1 (January 2003)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 January 2003

    Page Count: 4


    Carter, DO
    James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland

    Tibbett, M

    (Received 26 September 2002; accepted 21 September 2002)

    Abstract

    Forensic archaeologists and criminal investigators employ many different techniques for the location, recovery, and analysis of clandestine graves. Many of these techniques are based upon the premise that a grave is an anomaly and therefore differs physically, biologically, or chemically from its surroundings. The work reviewed in this communication demonstrates how and why field mycology might provide a further tool towards the investigation of scenes of crime concealed in forest ecosystems. The fruiting structures of certain fungi, the ammonia and the postputrefaction fungi, have been recorded repeatedly in association with decomposed mammalian cadavers in disparate regions of the world. The ecology and physiology of these fungi are reviewed briefly with a view to their potential as a forensic tool. This application of mycology is at an interface with forensic archaeology and forensic taphonomy and may provide a means to detect graves and has the potential to estimate postburial interval.


    Paper ID: JFS2002169

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2002169

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    Title Taphonomic Mycota: Fungi with Forensic Potential
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30