Book Review

Central European Lichens: Diversity and Threat

Edited by Anna Lackovicova, Anna Guttova, Eva Lisicka, and Pavel Lizon
2006; Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava
published by Mycotaxon, Ltd., Ithaca, NY.
364 pp.; ISBN 0-930845-14-5 (hardbound), 0-930845-15-3 (softbound)

Central European Lichens is a Festschrift dedicated to the famous Slovak lichenologist Ivan Pišút on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Pišút is one of the greatest all-time lichenologists from central Europe and is the former keeper of the lichenological and bryological collections of the Slovak National Museum. During his 28-year career at the Slovak National Museum he took the total lichen and bryophyte collections from just over 2,000 specimens to more than 67,000 lichens and 38,000 bryophytes. During that same period of time, Pišút authored more than 400 research papers on lichen ecology and diversity from central Europe, especially Slovakia.

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This Festschrift contains original contributions by the honoree’s close colleagues from Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. The 21 contributed papers are on disparate taxa and topics, but all have to do with the ecology of lichens in central Europe, and especially those taxa that are rare, threatened, or have been missing from many collections. The titles include: “World distribution of species of Lecidea…occurring in Central Europe,” “Cetrarioid lichens in Europe…,” “Morphometric and chemical evaluation of Solenopsora carpatica,” “New and interesting records of Lepraria…,” “New and noteworthy lichens from the Czech Republic,” “The distribution of the species of the genera Physcia and Physconia…,” “Distribution of calciphilous lichens in Poland,” “Remarkable records of lichenized and lichenicolous fungi from Slovenia,” “Lichens new for Slovakia collected in the National Park Muranska planina,” “Ecological notes on Verrucaria aquatilis and V. hydrela…,” “The participation of lichens in species diversity of mine waste vegetation,” “Lichen diversity…in Slovakia: Gyalecta ulmi and Leptogium saturninum,” “Changes in distribution of rare and threatened lichens in the Czech Republic II,” “Changes in the lichen biota of…Central Poland during the past 100 years,” “New and interesting records of lichens from the Tatry Mountains,” “Diversity of the epiphytic lichens of the Tatry Mountains, Slovakia,” “Additions to the lichen flora of the Tatry National Park…,” “Interesting lichen records from…Glatzner Schneeberg, Czech Republic,” “Localities of the high-mountain species Leucocarpia biatorella…,” “Protected lichens in The Bory Tucholskie Forest (N Poland) and threats to them,” and “Lichenological finds in Pilsko Nature Reserve…” The book also includes an Index of lichens and lichenicolous fungi. The contributing authors were: Martin Backor, Viera Banasova, Franc Batic, Urszula Bielczyk, Peter O. Bilovitz, Stanislaw Cieslinski, Krystyna Czyzewska, Radek Detinsky, Adam Flakus, Joanna Galas, Anna Guttova, Josef P. Halda, Hannes Hertel, Ludwik Lipnicki, Jozef Liszka, Jana Kocourkova, Robert Koscielniak, Beata Krzewicka, Anna Lackovicova, Eva Lisicka, Jiri Liska, Karol Marhold, Helmut Mayrhofer, Rok Mesl, Walter Obermayer, Zdenek Palice, Tina Randlane, Andres Saag, Stepanka Slavikova-Bayerova, Viera Slezakova, Lucyna Sliwa, Roman Turk, Jan Vondrak.

This book is obviously best suited to an audience of research lichenologists, and especially those from the central European region. With no color photographs and little in the way of keys, amateur lichen enthusiasts (and there are many of us out there!) will probably not have much use for this book. However, for those in the field, Central European Lichens could be a valuable book on the shelf: the contributed papers all have thorough references cited; data on collection and distribution of taxa are thorough, with many featuring nice country – by – country distribution maps.

— Review by Britt Bunyard
— Originally published in Fungi