Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lichens of GSMNP

A book just came out last week entitled "The Lichens and Allied Fungi of Great Smoky Mountains National Park." It documents the lichen diversity of GSMNP in a far more comprehensive way than has ever been done before. Here is the official summary from Amazon:

"Like the Great Smoky Mountains themselves, much about the lichens of the Smokies has remained shrouded in mystery. This book sheds considerable light on the diversity of these intriguing organisms in the Smokies, a diversity that is unmatched in any other American national park. Written by three of this country's foremost lichen specialists and based on their extensive field and herbarium studies, this book is a comprehensive summary of current knowledge of the lichen biota of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Included in this treatment: revised and annotated checklist; comprehensive keys to all 804 known species of lichenized, lichenicolous, and allied fungi; extensive ecological notes on noteworthy discoveries; discussion of records for new and interesting taxa; formal description of 2 genera and 12 species new to science; color micrographs illustrating all new genera, and species distribution maps for selected species."

In this book, I co-authored a number of new taxonomic combinations based on morphological and molecular research that I have conducted. The book also includes several species that I have described in past works. This publication will serve as a great resource for researchers studying lichen diversity in eastern North America, since the southern Appalachians (as far as we have documented so far) seem to house more lichen diversity in a smaller area than any other part of the region.

- Brendan

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