Lichens of North America

Front Cover
Lichens are a unique form of plant life, the product of a symbiotic association between an alga and a fungus. The beauty and importance of lichens have long been overlooked, despite their abundance and diversity in most parts of North America and elsewhere in the world. This stunning book--the first accessible and authoritative guidebook to lichens of the North American continent--fills the gap, presenting superb color photographs, descriptions, distribution maps, and keys for identifying the most common, conspicuous, or ecologically significant species.
The book focuses on 805 foliose, fruticose, and crustose lichens (the latter rarely included in popular guidebooks) and presents information on another 700 species in the keys or notes; special attention is given to species endemic to North America. A comprehensive introduction discusses the biology, structure, uses, and ecological significance of lichens and is illustrated with 90 additional color photos and many line drawings. English names are provided for most species, and the book also includes a glossary that explains technical terms. This visually rich and informative book will open the eyes of nature lovers everywhere to the fascinating world of lichens.

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Lichens of North America

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Lichens are a combination of a fungus and an alga but have a unique structure and appearance quite different from either. Existing worldwide and growing on a variety of surfaces, including rocks, soil ... Read full review

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Even if you don't know what a lichen is and never read the text to find out, this book is worth getting for your coffee table (or as a gift for someone else's)...the photos are fabulous and showcase the beauty and incredible diversity of lichens.


The Organism
Thallus Shapes and Structure
Lichens and Ecosystems
Geographic Distributions in North America
Environmental Monitoring with Lichens
Collecting and Studying Lichens
Classification of Lichen Fungi
Further Reading and Bibliography
Index of Names

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Irwin M. Brodo is emeritus research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, and is considered a world authority on lichens and their biology. Stephen Sharnoff is and the late Sylvia Duran Sharnoff was research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden and research affiliate at the University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley. The Sharnoffs are both internationally renowned nature photographers and writers whose work has appeared in, among other places, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discover, and the New York Times.

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