Patrick M. McCarthy:

Catalogue of the Lichen Family Porinaceae

2003. 164 pages, 13 figures, 1 table, 14x23cm, 340 g
Language: English

(Bibliotheca Lichenologica, Band 87)

ISBN 978-3-443-58066-7, paperback, price: 46.00 €

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Porinaceae Flechtenfamilie


Synopsis top ↑

Three families of pyrenocarpous lichens, the Porinaceae, Pyrenulaceae and Verrucariaceae, together comprise at least 10 per cent of all lichenized fungi and variously contribute in a significant way to lichen communities on all substrata and under all climatic conditions. The almost exclusively corticolous Pyrenulaceae, with more than 429 species in 16 genera, are especially numerous and abundant in subtropical and tropical regions while making a far more modest contribution to lichen diversity in cool-temperate and boreal latitudes. By contrast most Verrucariaceae (711 species in 37 genera) are saxicolous in temperate and cooler regions, as well as under hot-arid and subarid conditions. Conversely, diversity of Verrucariaceae is markedly reduced at low latitudes.
Three genera, Polycornum, Porina and Trichothelium, and 394 species and infra- specific taxa are recognized in the pyrenocarpous lichen family Porinaceae (Ascomycota; Trichotheliales). The family is known from 150 countries and island territories, and it is especially diverse in the tropics and subtropics.

This contribution gives publication details of accepted along with full synonymy. A country-based distribution is included for each species together with relevant literature sources. More than 700 synonyms are also listed separately, as are excluded taxa and doubtful species that are probably referrable to other families. A selection of distribution maps is provided, and patterns of known and likely diversity are discussed.

The new combination Porina biroi (Szatala) P. M. McCarthy is made for Clathroporina biroi Szatala. Porina coarctata P. M. McCarthy & Harada nom. nov. replaces the illegitimate Porina aggregata P. M. McCarthy & Harada, and Porina peregrina Tretiach & P. M. McCarthy is validated.

Rev.: Mycotaxon vol. 89 no. 1, January-March 2004 top ↑

This family of pyrenocarpous lichens in the Trichotheliales as interpreted here includes three genera and 394 species: Polycornum (1 species), Porina (359), and Trichothelium (34). Over 700 synonyms are listed, as are various doubtful and excluded species, many referable to other quite unrelated families. For each accepted species, places of publication and synonyms are provided, followed by lists of countries from which the species have been reported, together with references to the pertinent published reports. In the case of commoner species, distribution maps are also presented.

Although this is a catalogue of the taxa and their records (and so without descriptions and keys), it is a masterly and critically researched world overview of one of the commonest groups of pyrenocarpous lichens in the tropics. Europe contributes at least 80 % of the literature reports, and at least 50 % of the synonymy, but supports less than 15 % of the species. The author estimates that the true world-wide diversity of the family ???will probably exceed 500 taxa??? (p. 10); I suspect that will prove to be on the low side from my own brief encounters with the genus in the tropics, especially southern India.

Three new scientific names are introduced: Porina biroi comb. nov. (syn. Clathroporina biroi), P. coarctata nom. nov. (syn. P. aggregata nom. Three new scientific names are introduced: Porina biroi comb. nov. (syn. Clathroporina biroi), P. coarctata nom. nov. (syn. P. aggregata nom. illegit.), and P. peregrina sp. nov. It is evident that there is much research behind this work that is not presented here, particularly with reference to the types Dr McCarthy has personally checked and on which rest some of the taxonomic decisions presented. Hopefully he will have time to do that and prepare a subsequent publication in due course, so that this catalogue can evolve into a world monograph. For the moment, however, we have a valuable reference source that should serve to stimulate further work on and facilitate identifications in the family.

Mycotaxon vol. 89 no. 1, January-March 2004

Contents top ↑

Summary 5
Introduction 7
Catalogue 13
Polycornum 13
Porina 13
Trichothelium 103
Doubtful Taxa 112
Synonyms 115
Excluded Taxa 130
Bibliography 138

Rev.: Folia Geobotranica 39/2, 2004 top ↑

The family Porinaceae (formerly Trichotheliaceae) constitutes a large
group of exclusively lichenized (Trentepohlia as photobiont)
pyrenocarpous fungi. Except a monotypic New Zealand's endemic
Polycornum, two genera are included: (sub)cosmopolitan Porina and
pantropical and southern Palaeotemperate Trichothelium. This
classification of three genera stems from and is supported by the
author's long-term experience extensively studying on the group and
other pyrenocarps. He advocates using a broad concept of the genus
Porina against its splitting into smaller genera, as well as supported
a narrower concept of the genus Trichothelium in his previous
treatments. The different opinions on the genus concept in Porinaceae
are reflected in several checklists and floras. For example,
Pseudosagedia and Zamenhofia are accepted by several authors, but are
listed as synonyms in the catalogue. Porinaceae is one of the two
families of Trichotheliales. Currently the position of the order
within the Ascomycota is unsettled and molecular studies are necessary
to elucidate the relationships to other groups.

The book is a catalogue. The reader should not expect an intriguing
story about a lichen family. A total of 398 taxa and more than 700
synonyms are listed. The catalogue begins with a reasonably short,
comprehensively written introductory chapter. An illustrative table of
countries with ten or more species of Porinaceae recorded is
included. Discrepancy is shown between tropical and temperate
countries (except New Zealand). One may also estimate the knowledge of
the single country lichen floras. The prevailing part of the book is a
list of taxa including their synonyms, alphabetically arranged
distributional data and relevant references. Valuable
nomenclatoric/taxonomic notes are included, and several formal
nomenclatoric changes are suggested. Selected, biogeographically
interesting species are provided with maps of distribution. Lists of
doubtful taxa, synonyms and excluded taxa are treated in separate
parts. Doubtful taxa are prepared in the same way as accepted ones
with the exception of a short comment why each species apparently does
not belong in Porinaceae. Excluded taxa are amended with
references. The bibliography exceeds 450 titles.

Porina used to be a dustbin for other morphologically similar
unrelated pyrenocarpous lichens. Monumental taxonomic and
bibliographic conspectus of (at that time) all known lichens (10
volumes), the ZAHLBRUCKNER's "Catalogus Lichenum Universalis"
(1921­1940) and complementary LAMB's "Index Nominum" (till 1960) have
been out of date for a long time. Many new discoveries have been made,
taxonomy has been rapidly changing and all new knowledge is dispersed
in an endless amount of contributions. The McCarthy's catalogue brings
up-to-date information on the taxonomy, nomenclature and distribution
of Porinaceae, making the group more "easy-to-maintain" and outlining
implicite perspectives for further studies. It is surely a great
relief for many lichenologists potentionally working or just
marginally handling this group. The book may also become a useful tool
for amateur lichenologists, treating Porinaceae in floristic
papers. Hopefully specialists will also follow this meritorious act in
other voluminous groups of lichens.

Despite the rather specialized frame the book may well serve also to
people from other fields of systematic biology, because the
biogeographical aspects are especially worth mentioning.

Zdenìk Palice

Folia Geobotranica 39/2, 2004