Diversity and Ecology of Lichens in Polar and Mountain Ecosystems

Ed.: Josef Hafellner; Ingvar Kärnefelt; Volkmar Wirth

2010. 389 pages, 71 figures, 8 tables, 14x23cm, 730 g
Language: English

(Bibliotheca Lichenologica, Band 104)

ISBN 978-3-443-58083-4, paperback, price: 104.00 €

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lichen systematics ecology Leptogium insigneStereocaulon soufrieranumCalicium pluriseptatumPorpidinia tumidulaidinia


Synopsis top ↑

Mountain ecosystems and cold deserts are especially rich in lichens and are excellent field laboratories to study them under various stress conditions. Ecosystems of these types, namely the European Alps and Antarctica with their lichen biota, have also been in the focus of interest by Roman Türk in the last four decades.

We took the occasion of Roman Türk’s 65th birthday to invite a number of his colleagues and friends to contribute papers on aspects of lichens in mountain and polar ecosystems for this volume of Bibliotheca Lichenologica. The 17 reviewed contributions cover lichens from the European Alps, tropical Africa, on La Soufrière volcano to Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. This volume addresses the public interested in lichenology, and the editors are pleased to offer these contributions as further steps towards a better knowledge of taxonomy, diversity, distribution and ecology of lichens.

The volume was carefully edited by three prominent and active members of the lichenological community, Josef Hafellner, University of Graz, Austria, Ingvar Kärnefelt, University of Lund, Sweden, and Volkmar Wirth, Natural History Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Review: Nova Hedwigia vol. 91 issue 3-4 top ↑

Roman Türk is well known among lichenologists for his research on lichens in alpine and polar regions. He has made significant contributions to our knowledge of the ecology and diversity of lichens adapted to these habitats. The harsh climatic conditions seem to be in conflict with the positive and joyful nature of Roman. Given Roman’s main scientific interests, the choice of the topic by the three editors is well justified. The volume starts with two non-scientific papers, one affectionate paper describing the life and lichenological work of Roman Türk and then a manuscript spearheaded by Ingvar Kärnefelt with short biographies of Australian lichenologists exploring the Alps. There are several manuscripts dealing with floristic topics and notes on smaller taxonomic groups or descriptions of new species, mostly from alpine or polar areas. Pyrenocarpous lichens are the focus of two papers, one by Breuss and Berger on some Verrucaria spp. and another by Hafellner on brownspored Polyblastia sensu lato taxa in Central Europe. Markus Hauck discusses the probable fate of arctic-alpine lichens in northern Germany, which seems quite dim given the numerous stress factors in addition to global warming. Another warming period and its influences on the lichen flora in central Europe is discussed in a paper by Wirth, who speculates about the succession of lichen communities in post-glacial Europe based on pollen records and current ecological requirements of corticolous lichens. Hertel and Schuhwerk discuss the saxicolous lecideoid lichens in the Alps, while Thell et al. report on Parmeliaceae in the Alps and provide a key to their identification. One contribution deals with tropical taxa: Tibell and Frisch report on new data of mazaediate lichens from tropical Africa. Five new species and the new genus Porpidinia Timdal are described in the Festschrift. Three manuscripts are in German, while all others are in English. This is a nice contribution to celebrate Roman Türk’s 65th birthday and his achievements. Every lichenologist with interest in alpine or polar ecosystems should try to get a copy!

H.T. LUMBSCH, Chicago

Nova Hedwigia vol. 91 issue 3-4

Review: International Lichenological Newsletter 43 (1) top ↑

This is a Festschrift without mentioning it in the title. However, in addition to the remarks in the short preface, the first contribution by J. Hafellner, O. L. Lange & V. Wirth is entitled Roman Türk – Notizen zu Leben und Werk anlässlich seines 65. Geburtstages and contains in addition to the biography of Roman Türk, his bibliography up to the beginning of 2010. Roman’s special interests are reflected in the next chapter too. I. Kärnefelt, A. Thell, P. Frödén & M. Seaward summarize the development of Austrian lichenological activities over more than 200 years by presenting biographical notes for 18 of the most active persons from past and present under the headline Austrian lichenologists exploring the Alps. Here the long-running activities of Roman Türk, exploring and mapping the lichen biodiversity of Austria, come into the framework of history. It was Roman Türk who started lichen mapping in Austria about 40 years ago resulting in several distribution atlases, the most recent one reviewed above.

Then follow 15 chapters on various aspects of lichen systematics, taxonomy and floristics, mostly related to the Alps or other high mountains. To mention just a few of them: the longest contribution (80 pages) On saxicolous lecideoid lichens growing in the European Alps at high altitudes by H. Hertel & F. Schuhwerk treats 92 taxa (81 species) growing in higher altitudes of the Alps (which is defined as above 2500 m). Brief remarks on published illustrations, ecology, global distribution, distribution in the Alps and a list of records from the hole of the European Alps, sometimes with added taxonomic notes, are provided. Within this paper the new combination Carbonea nivaria (Arnold) Rambold is proposed.

Another paper (in German) of great importance on Verrucaria species with brown thalli in the Austrian Limestone Alps includes a key for 36 accepted species. Although the authors (O. Breuss & F. Berger) call their paper a provisional overview, this will become most probably an important step forward to a better understanding of Verrucaria with its many insufficiently known species. Further papers in direct relation to the Alps are entitled A key to the Parmeliaceae in the Alps with notes on their distribution and phylogeny by I. Thell, M. Westberg & I. Kärnefelt and Lichen diversity on marble outcrops at mid to high elevations in the Eastern Alps (Austria) by A. Wilfling & J. Hafellner.

There are six newly described taxa listed on page 6, including the new genus Porpidina Timdal to accommodate the former Toninia tumidula as the only species, Calicium pluriseptatum Tibell & Frisch from Tanzania, Leptogium insigne P. M Jørg. & Tønsberg from the Pacific Northwest of North America, and Stereocaulon soufrieranum Øvstedal & Elix from Guadeloupe.

Contributions are in English except of the two papers mentioned above and a paper on beech forest lichens by V. Wirth. Authors and editors are to be thanked for a well-balanced volume which reflects the work of Roman Türk as well as the development of alpine lichenology. There is no question that it is a must for lichenologists working in the European Alps and for all major lichenological libraries.

The Editor

International Lichenological Newsletter 43 (1), page 4-5

Review: The Lichenologist vol. 43(5) top ↑

This volume is a collection of 17 papers celebrating the research career of Prof. Roman Türk on the occasion of his 65th birthday and pending retirement from the Universität Salzburg. The volume begins with an insightful biographical chapter which provides an informative background to Türk the person, not just the academic. Living at the foot of the Alps, it is hardly surprising that he was drawn to the mountains and he once informed me that he had climbed most, or was it all, of the nearby peaks. The comprehensive bibliography of published works gives the reader a clear understanding of the extensive research interests of Türk the academic.

The second chapter paints a concise picture of some of the many noteworthy lichenologists who have come from the region of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire or who have worked on the region’s lichen flora. The recipient of this volume, through his diverse interests, more than adequately contributes to this picture.

The remaining 15 papers contributing to the volume cover a wide range of topics and geographical regions. Ten of the papers are devoted to systematics or checklists with comprehensive annotations. Three discuss the potential impacts of climate change on lichen distribution patterns and the use of lichens as monitors of these impacts, and one paper examines lichen diversity on calcareous substrata in the Austrian Alps. The geographical cover reflected in the various papers extends from Greenland to Antarctica. As with all such compendia, the detail and quality of the content of these papers varies. However, such volumes provide a useful vehicle for the dissemination of much information that may otherwise not be forthcoming and, hopefully, may stimulate further interest amongst students and researchers alike. What is pleasing to this reader is the amount of ecological information provided in many of the taxonomic or biodiversity papers.

It is regrettable that in the paper by Breuss and Berger on Verrucaria species, a nomen nudum with a description of the taxon in German only has been introduced as Verrucaria finitima. Under Article 36.1 of the ICBN (Vienna Code – McNeill et al. 2006) the name must be accompanied by a Latin diagnosis and designation of a Type specimen. It is unfortunate that this has slipped through the referee and Editorial processes. Also, in this paper, four new lectotypes are indicated without discussion or any indication of the possibility of an existing holotype. By contrast, in the paper by Hafellner on Polyblastia, the reasoning behind lectotypification of Henrica ramulosa is clearly and correctly given. Elsewhere in the volume, in the paper by Tibell and Frisch, Calicium pluriseptatum is correctly described.

With greater attention being given to potential impacts of global climate shifts, the lichen flora of polar and alpine regions is assuming greater importance and three papers include a discussion of climate effects in Greenland (Hansen), Saxony (Hauck), and the European Alps generally (Hertel and Schuhwerk). While the paper by Hauck concerns alpine lichens at subalpine altitudes, it is likely that these lower altitude studies may yield more informative results and certainly in a shorter time frame than studies at higher altitudes. However, as stated by Hertel and Schuhwerk in their enumeration of Lecideoid taxa from the European Alps, a first step is the establishment of reliable checklists. This paper, although rather lengthy, could be taken as a model for the presentation of much useful and critical information on the taxonomic relationships, distribution and ecology of lichens from these extreme environments. However, as evidenced by Hansen’s paper on inland and coastal lichens of south-west Greenland, there are inherent problems associated with the long-term study of change in composition and distribution of species as field methodologies may change as might, of course, taxonomic interpretations.

Not surprisingly, the volume is largely Eurocentric. This is not intended as a criticism and there is much information in the papers that is of relevance to extra- European localities. What may be alpine in Europe may well be applicable to comparatively low elevations at higher latitudes. Many European based lichenologists have, over many decades, investigated the lichen floras of extra-European locations. Types and other specimens are usually lodged in European herbaria. Some countries have a requirement that Types and representative duplicates of other collections be lodged in a recognized herbarium in the country from which the material has been collected, in order to retain authentic material of the taxa in the country of origin. It is evident from some of the taxonomic papers in the volume that this requirement is not always followed.

The volume is remarkably free of typographical errors. However, in the paper on Alpine Parmelioid taxa by Thell, Westberg and Kärnefelt, which is very useful for collectors trying to enumerate collections of the species of this large group of macrolichens, some text is missing from the discussion of Parmelina. The key to taxa provided is, for the most part, mercifully free of the necessity for a detailed knowledge of chemistry.

The only serious criticism I have of this volume, because of the future nomenclatural implications, relates to inclusion of a nomen nudum in the paper by Breuss and Berger. Collectively, however, the papers provide a very useful compilation of work, particularly on alpine lichens. The contributors, editors, and the recipient of the dedication, can be justifiably pleased with this volume.

Rod Seppelt

The Lichenologist, volume 43(5), pp 499-500 (2010), Cambridge University Press

Review: Acta Botanica Hungarica 53 (3-4), 2011 top ↑

The volume is dedicated to Roman Türk on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Therefore the focus of the topics is chosen according to his main fields of interest and activity. These are lichen ecology of the Alps, ecophysiology of cold deserts where lichens accommodate to low temperatures and dry conditions (where precipitation originates mostly from snow or fog) and survive by their special life strategies. Additionally there are papers on the systematics of Parmeliaceae (including a key for alpine taxa!) and Verrucariaceae (Verrucaria species with brown thalli with key; Polyblastia coll., namely Atla, Henrica and Sporodiction spp., with tables for comparison of species) in European mountains. New taxa described are the genus Porpidiana Timdal, the species Calicium pluriseptatum Tibell et Frisch, Leptogium insigne P. M. Jørg. et Tønsberg and Stereocaulon soufrieranum Øvstedal et Elix. New combinations are introduced as Carbonea nivaria (Arnold) Rambold for Lecidella nivaria Arnold and Porpidiana tumidula (Sm.) Timdal for Lichen tumidulatus Sm. (syn. Toninia tumidula (Sm.) Zahlbr.). Further important notes are on the morphology, lichen chemistry and distribution of Pyxine species from Tibet or on the distribution of lecideoid lichens of the European Alps. We learn that the Sutjeska National Park (Bosnia and Herzegovina) holds 149 taxa of lichens and 7 taxa of lichenicolous fungi, among them several rare species (e.g. two Lobaria species) at Central European level. Six species of the lichenicolous fungi and the non-lichenised Chaenothecopsis pusilla is new for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore 214 taxa are listed from Greenland. The effects of the changed climate and land use practice are presented at a study in Germany with the most striking data: 37% extinction! The improved knowledge on macrolichens of Antarctica is also a help in detecting global environmental changes.

There is an enjoyable biography and a precise bibliography of Roman Türk in the first paper of the volume, compiled by the editors. Further Austrian researchers of lichenology in the Alps are also presented – it is quite interesting to find our present day colleagues together in the same alphabetical order with 19th century lichenologists. The book is carefully edited and nicely illustrated by fewer drawings (distribution maps or TLC plates) and several high-quality black-and-white photographs of Roman Türk and morphological details of lichen taxa. The 30 authors including the 3 editors did a great job. Roman Türk must enjoy the great amount of new information, what is useful in the same time for all lichenologists.


Acta Botanica Hungarica 53 (3-4), 2011, p. 444

Table of Contents top ↑

Preface 7
Hafellner, J., Lange, O.L. & Wirth, V.: Roman Türk –
Notizen zu Leben und Werk anlässlich seines 65.
Geburtstages 9
Kärnefelt, I., Thell, A., Frödén, P. & Seaward, M.:
Austrian lichenologists exploring the Alps 37
Bilovitz, P.O. & Mayrhofer, H.: Lichenized and
lichenicolous fungi from the Sutjeska National Park
(Bosnia and Herzegovina), with special emphasis on
the virgin forest reserve Perucica 65
Breuss, O. & Berger, F.: Die Verrucaria-Arten
mit braunem Lager in den österreichischen Kalkalpen.
Eine vorläufige Übersicht mit Bestimmungsschlüssel 77
Hafellner, J.: Contributions to a revision of lichenized,
phaeospored species of Polyblastia coll., mainly in
the Central European mountains 117
Hansen, E.S.: Lichens from five inland and coastal
localities in SouthWest Greenland and their present
climatic preferences in Greenland as regards
oceanity and continentality 143
Hauck, M.: The fate of arcticalpine lichens under rising
temperatures and changed land use in Lower
Saxony, northern Germany 155
Hertel, H. & Schuhwerk, F.: On saxicolous lecideoid
lichens growing in the European Alps at high
altitudes 161
Jørgensen, P.M. & Tønsberg, T.: Leptogium insigne, a
new species from the Pacific Northwest of North
America 241
Obermayer, W. & Kalb, K.: Notes on three species of
Pyxine (lichenized Ascomycetes) from Tibet and
adjacent regions 247
Øvstedal, D.O. & Elix, J.A.: A new Stereocaulon from the
summit of the volcano La Soufrière, Guadeloupe,
French Antilles 269
Thell, A., Westberg, M. & Kärnefelt, I.: A key to the
Parmeliaceae in the Alps with notes on their
distribution and phylogeny 275
Thor, G.: Macrolichens in Heimefrontfjella and Vestfjella,
Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica 299
Tibell, L. & Frisch, A.: New data on crustose mazaediate
lichens from tropical Africa 323
Timdal, E.: Porpidinia (Porpidiaceae), a new genus for
Toninia tumidula 333
Wilfling, A. & Hafellner, J.: Lichen diversity on marble
outcrops at mid to high elevations in the Eastern Alps
(Austria) 339
Wirth, V.: Zur nacheiszeitlichen Geschichte der
Flechtenbiota von Wäldern in Mitteleuropa, mit
besonderer Berücksichtigung der montanen
Buchenwälder (Fagetalia) 373
List of taxonomic and nomenclatural novelties
Carbonea nivaria (Arnold) Rambold 171
Leptogium insigne P.M.Jørg. & Tønsberg 242
Stereocaulon soufrieranum Øvstedal & Elix 270
Calicium pluriseptatum Tibell & Frisch 324
Porpidinia Timdal 334
Porpidinia tumidula (Sm.) Timdal 334