Checklist of the Lichens and Lichenicolous Fungi of Greece
2009. 368 pages, 23x14cm, 700 g
(Bibliotheca Lichenologica, Band 103)
ISBN 978-3-443-58082-7, paperback, price: 94.00 €BibTeX file
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Review: International Lichenological Newsletter 42 (2)
Review: Inoculum 61(3), June 2010
Review: Bibliography of Systematic Mycology, 12(9), April 2010
Review: Acta Botanica Hungarica 53 (3-4)
Table of Contents
The core of the work is preceded by a detailed historical account of lichenological studies in the country and followed by a cross-indexed list of synonyms, notes on Greek place names including results from detective work on those mentioned in earlier literature, a list of his own collecting localities, 18 pages of references cited, and, unusually, two pages of works not seen.
This meticulously, and clearly lovingly, prepared work can be expected to promote interest in Greek lichens – especially if it could also be made available online through LIAS (A Global Information System for Lichenized and Non-Lichenized Ascomycetes; www.lias.net) to complement the national lists already available through that site. It now needs to be supplemented by a substantial handbook with photographs to further stimulate Greek nationals, and others settling there, in the nation’s lichens. And, of course, all lichenologists taking a holiday in the Aegean will need to have this book at hand to see what additions they can make – and let Bernard know (email@example.com).
David L Hawksworth Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid Department of Botany, Natural History Museum, London
Inoculum 61(3), June 2010
The preparation of a checklist is a major undertaking, especially for a region where none exists previously. The author has clearly entered into this work with an unshakeable sense of purpose, and the end result constitutes a major step forward in the study of Greek lichens. A particular challenge has been accessing the highly scattered literature on the subject, with most source information being published outside of the country. As the author comments acerbically, ‘Lichenology in Greece has a long, though discontinuous and rather undistinguished history’.
Around 1300 taxa are accepted which, bearing in mind the geographical and ecological diversity of the country, suggests that the total is significantly larger than the known number of species. Many of the Greek islands remain totally unexplored for lichens, hopefully giving purpose to many a vacation for those with interests in the subject. The work also contains a detailed account of the history of lichen exploration in Greece, a synonym list, a most useful guide to Greek place names, and a reference list (irritatingly separated into papers seen by the author and those not consulted). The species notes are comprehensive in terms of information source, with records separated into the mainland provinces and island groups. They could perhaps have been arranged in a manner that is easier to read, but this is after all a technical resource and not a descriptive volume.
I have not studied the volume in detail in an attempt to discover inaccuracies and inconsistencies, but the overall impression is that of a highly organized and well proof-read document. It will be the main reference work for Greek lichens for the foreseeable future, and will hopefully stimulate much more research. Can we look forward to a Greek lichen biota? Bella, Binty, Chica, Oscar, Priscilla and Spotty will be proud of their human companion ...
Bibliography of Systematic mycology, 12(9), April 2010
The back cover mentions“…results from over 2,000 years of investigations into Greek lichens …”. This is a very promising advertisement of the volume! The reader may expect an entire treatment of all studies ever carried out in lichenology in Greece. And indeed, there is a detailed chapter of 21 pages on “History of lichenology in Greece” which covers first of all the development of floristical knowledge on lichens. Publications by recent Greek authors are mainly on the applied fields (bioindication, monitoring of heavy metal, sulphur dioxide, dust or radioactive pollution) following 1990s. It is also worth mentioning lichen chemistry, first of all the studies on carotenoids based on Greek lichens and the colouring effects of lichen substances on artificially coloured monuments. Of course the first step is to know the organisms what is available in Greece for lichenological studies. The author concentrated on the taxa of lichenised and lichenicolous fungi ever mentioned in literature from Greece. In this way he intended to compile the possibly most precise recent inventory of taxa. As a result 1296 species (and infraspecific taxa) are accepted by him listing another 169 taxa awaiting for confirmation. Under the names mentioned there are very useful annotations concerning mostly to geographical distribution, taxonomy or nomenclature. The author carried out his own field studies at 58 sites visited in the province Peloponnese. These represent the most recent data (from 1999 up to now) published in the volume.
A list of synonyms follows the list of species. A title to it – also included in the contents (pp. 264–304) – would have been practical to add. The chapter “List of Greek place names” consists of explanations on sites and useful notes on transliterating and spelling names of classical and modern Greek language. Literature sources seen (on 17 pages) and not seen (on 2 pages) by the author are separated into two lists expressing that some data might need revision in future, however the number of such publications is very low compared to the amount of literature studied altogether.
On the basis of the available literature and own field studies, the author estimates the lichen flora of Greece as exceeding the species number 1500, which seems to be a correct, or even a rather careful estimation. Several of the islands never have been investigated for their lichens, others are very unevenly collected, just as large areas are known from a few popular collection sites (e.g. Mt Olympus) only. There is a lot more to do in lichenology in Greece. The current checklist is obviously a great help for those who are going to discover the still unknown parts of this country for their lichens and lichenicolous fungi.
Acta Botanica Hungarica 53 (3-4), 2011, p. 441-442
History of Lichenology in Greece 7
The Checklist 28
Greek Place Names 305
B. Abbott's Peloponnesian Sites 347
Publications Not Seen 367