Collected Lichenological Papers von Nylander,  William

Collected Lichenological Papers

Lichenological Papers 1863-1868 with addenda nova ad lichenographiam europaeam 1865-1887

Including a biography and bibliography Edited and prefaced by Teuvo Ahti Professor of Cryptogamic Botany Department of Botany, University of Helsinki, Finland William Nylander (1822-1899) was one of the world’s greatest lichenologists. He started his career in Finland but spent most of his active research period in Paris, France. He became one of the highly regarded universal taxonomists who described new taxa from all over the world. Very many of the thousands of names he proposed are still in use. He published the lichen floras — usually first — of areas like Scandinavia, Algeria, Japan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Colombia and Tierra del Fuego. He also started a world lichen flora, Synopsis Lichenum, which was never completed, however. He introduced the use of chemical reagents into lichen taxonomy and the principle of the recognition of distinct lichen species based solely on their chemical content — a procedure which still continues to engender heated discussions among lichenologists today. He was also one of the first to recognize the detrimental effect of the city air on lichens — a basic germinal observation for the later extensive studies on the relations of air pollution and lichens. All this is told in the biography written by Prof. Ahti in the introduction to Nylander’s papers. Nylander published more than 300 papers on lichens (304 entries listed), and many of them are poorly represented even in major botanical libraries. Now most of them are available as reprinted in the present volumes, comprising more than 4000 pages altogether. Prof. Ahti has made a thorough study to compile Nylander’s complete bibliography of lichenological papers, checking all the papers from the journals and the reprints, which often have different paginations. In many cases the publication dates were checked from Nylander’s correspondence and other sources. All this information is included in the first volume. These volumes are of immense value to all taxonomists, who commonly have to check Nylander’s original papers in addition to his well-preserved herbarium housed in Helsinki. There are still numerous species and records published by Nylander which have never been checked by later lichenologists.

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