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Lichens of North America [Hardcover]

Irwin M. Brodo , Ms. Sylvia Duran Sharnoff , Stephen Sharnoff
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 144.88
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Book Description

Sept. 10 2001 0300082495 978-0300082494 1
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 colour 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 70 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 colour 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.

Frequently Bought Together

Lichens of North America + Mosses, Lichens and Ferns of Northwest North America
Price For Both: CDN$ 148.75

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Product Description

From Amazon

This remarkable compendium, the first (and perhaps last) of its kind, gathers current knowledge on the North American continent's store of lichens--those hard-to-classify, symbiotic composites of fungi and other organisms such as algae and cyanobacteria.

Lichens are, admittedly, easy enough to overlook. They stand out in most people's minds only as the orange, green, or grayish patches that festoon rocks and trees in mountain regions. But they are far more widespread than that, writes research scientist Irwin Brodo. Nearly every bioregion has a complement, and the continent as a whole boasts nearly 3,600 species (of about 14,000 worldwide). The first part of this book offers a near-encyclopedic survey of these lichens' form, structure, reproductive patterns, physiology, and ecological role. The second is a keyed guide to the continent's genera and major groups, including descriptions, range maps, and photographs, the last by the noted nature photographers Sylvia and Stephen Sharnoff.

Though far too hefty to serve easily in the field, this fine book deserves a place in the collections of natural historians and plant biologists doing work just about anywhere in North America. --Gregory McNamee

From Library Journal

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, and trees, they may appear leafy, shrubby, mossy, crusty, or jellylike and are seen in a wide range of colors, from brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds to dull grays and browns. This huge new book, written by a world authority on lichens and emeritus research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, provides information on about 1500 of the roughly 3600 recognized North American lichens. Part 1 introduces lichens in 14 clearly written chapters that discuss their biology, ecology, geography, environmental roles, and collection. Part 2, the heart of the book, is a guide that offers identification keys to groups, genera, and species and their descriptions, with accompanying photographs and North American distribution maps. The more than 900 truly beautiful, full-color photos were taken by the Sharnoffs, nature photographers whose work has been widely published in National Geographic, Smithsonian, and elsewhere. Of value to professionals and amateurs alike, this book is certain to be a classic reference for decades to come. Highly recommended for academic and research libraries and for public libraries where interest warrants; libraries needing only a brief yet informative introduction to lichens should consider William Purvis's inexpensive Lichens (Smithsonian Institution, 2000). William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating , beautiful and informative... Aug. 18 2002
As an amateur naturalist and nature photographer I was intriqued by the colors, patterns and variety of lichens, but knew little about them. As my lichen photography collection grew,I wanted to identify the lichen species I had photographed, so I did some research. I returned over and over again to a website that highlighted the chapters and images in "Lichen's of North America." The book seemed an expensive investment for an amateur like myself, but, after reviewing other books on lichens at the library and in bookstores, I realized this book has no equal. Inevitably, I placed my order. When the book arrived, I was first surprised at how BIG it was. Hundreds of four color images jumped off the pages, each a work of art. Most importantly, the text is fascinating and easy to understand, even for a non-scientist. I read the first 14 chapters over the weekend. I was amazed by the important role lichens play in the biodiversity of life. It opened my eyes to an understudied and little understond life form that has a profound influence on the past and future of our planet. I recommend it to anyone who has any interest in biodiversity, natural succession, preserving the environment and nature in general. You will see Lichen in a whole new light!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Jan. 11 2002
It is hard to write about this book without an overuse of superlatives. The photographs are a naturalist's dream; they show the salient features of the lichens, but, at the same time, they are frequently works of art displaying the beauty and charm of both the subjects and their settings.The text escapes both of the usual faults of this type of book. It is neither so technical as to confuse and bore the non-specialist nor so superficial as to diminish the book's usefulness for the botanically sophisticated. Brodo's writing is clear, concise and graceful; a joy to read.The organization of the book is also all one could wish for, with a generous natural history section leading into clear, workable keys and descriptions of enough of the North American lichen species to satisfy any generalist and most specialists.All one is left to wish for is a paperback version to toss in the car.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Joy to Read July 10 2002
This is a book all naturalists will want to own, and it is not surprising that some have said that this is to lichens what Audobon's was to birds. It is a great gift to the naturalist community, courtesy of generous grants from 20 organizations. The text starts out with the basics, is clearly written, and exciting to read. The photos are outstanding. The paper is heavy coated stock: they did not skimp here. A real treasure, well worth it at twice the price. If you already know vascular plants and want to know more about the biological world, or are just fascinated by lichens, you can't go wrong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that's a work of art Jan. 7 2002
By A Customer
As a professional biologist, although with a minimal knowledge of lichens, I purchased a copy of the Bardo-Sharnoff-Sharnoff book and was blown away. The photographs are magnificent and well-integrated with the text. The book should serve to enlighten those who seek to understand the living curious and remarkable relationship between certain fungi and their resident cyanobacteria. This relationship we call lichens. Thanks especially to the Sharnoffs, we come to fully appreciate their subtle beauty. Sylvia Sharnoff must be smiling over this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful research guide. Aug. 1 2002
By A Customer
Wow sums it all up. The description said "hardcover, color photos, 'X' amount of pages, yet when I picked up a huge, heavy box, I had no idea the book was this great. Touches on just about every lichen in North America, and the pictures are a huge help. Offers identification tips through visual assessment and chemical testing. If you need to research lichen, this book is a great investment at a wonderful price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation! Oct. 14 2001
At last! This book will open the door to the world of lichens for many interested botanists, conservationists, naturalists -- and prospective lichenologists. I had high expectations of this book, and they were surpassed by far: excellent scientific information, presented in a manner accessible to both the professional and the amateur, and extremely beautiful too. The introductory chapters are excellent, and the "flora" portion has excellent keys, range maps, text, and wonderful photographs. This book is a bargain at the list price. If you have any interest in knowing about lichens in North America -- buy it, you will not be disappointed. The quality of the book is extraordinary, in all respects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Naturalist's Delight Nov. 2 2001
I haven't been this excited about a natural history book in a long time. I've been eagerly awaiting this one for two years and had high expectations from the publisher, but the reality is even better. The photos are wonderful, the descriptions clear and precise, but it is the excellent and much-needed sections on lichen natural history at the beginning of the book that will make it most useful to a wide variety of professional scientists and amateur naturalists alike.
And this book is huge enough to need its own stand - all it's lacking is the ribbon bookmark!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great buy
Well written and illustrated. It is a significant savings over the chapters price of $149. I would recommend this tome to anyone interested in lichens.
Published 11 months ago by James ransberry
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book
Not only is this book the standard for scientific excellence, it is also full of beautiful close-up images of the lichen species.
Published 12 months ago by MicroAstro
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
Don't be intimidated with this book. It's very easy to read and very accessible to the novice naturalist wich I am. Read more
Published on March 21 2011 by GB
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book
The most beatiful and informative book on lichens I've ever seen. The quality is amazing. It is a delight to read from cover to cover. And it is a true bargain at the price list.
Published on Nov. 24 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative in every way
First, this book is enormous! 800 full-size glossy pages - it must weigh 15 pounds. Not something you want to carry around in your backpack. Read more
Published on May 28 2003 by Sagebrush Gardener
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that's a work of art
As a professional biologist, although with a minimal knowledge of lichens, I purchased a copy of the Bardo-Sharnoff-Sharnoff book and was blown away. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
It is a book both for the professional and the amateur. Great photos and clear text. Wonderful reference for Lichens.
Published on Jan. 2 2002 by Tsing
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