- Hardcover: 828 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; First Printing edition (October 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300082495
- ISBN-13: 978-0300082494
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.9 x 2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 57 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Lichens of North America First Printing Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
Top customer reviews
At the turn of the millennium, unless you lived in the Pacific Northwest or northern Rocky Mountains, you would have had few accessible, well illustrated resources to aid you in putting names on lichens. However, the 2001 publication of this splendid 9-pound compendium (definitely NOT a field guide) made it possible for anyone in North America, expert or neophyte, to identify our more common foliose, fruticose, squamulose, and crustose lichens (yes, even many of the crusts).
Two characteristics make Lichens of North America a pleasure to read and use. The writing (by Brodo, from the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa) is clear and easy to understand, even for beginning lichenologists, and the illustrations are absolutely marvelous (there are over 920 color photographs taken by the Sharnoffs, mostly in the field).
The introduction includes discussions of what lichens are and are not, how they are built, and how they reproduce; describes their colors, chemistry, physiology, and growth; and places them in geographic and ecologic contexts. Additional topics include relationships between lichens and people (such as using them for dyes and environmental monitoring), lichen names and classification, and how to collect, study, and identify them. The descriptive guide follows, and is followed in turn by an appendix on the classification of lichens, a glossary, bibliography, and index.
The description section comprises approximately 635 of the book’s 828 total pages. It begins with a simple dichotomous key to the main lichen groups, followed by separate keys to genera and, in some cases, species for each main group. Additional keys to species in the larger genera are found throughout the descriptions, which are arranged alphabetically first by genus, then by species epithet.
The descriptions of over 800 species are found mostly two per page (they are of various lengths and often run from one page to the next) and are in paragraph format, which maximizes use of space. The main macroscopic and microscopic features are given, followed by reactions to the main chemicals used in identification, descriptions of habitat and substrate, and comments, including the key features of about 700 additional species. Each description includes a map showing the species’s North American (the U.S. and Canada only) distribution and a photograph. The photos are simply outstanding — true-to-life images beautifully reproduced in an attractive layout. But don’t take my word for it—check out the website listed above to see many of them for yourself.
Between the easy-to-use keys and the outstanding photographs, just about anyone should be able to identify many of the lichens (s)he finds. You’ll also be tempted to give the book a prominent place on your favorite coffee table, where it will provide many hours of enjoyable virtual foraying and encourage you to get to know many lichens in advance of seeing them in the wild.
In closing, the bottom-line question, “should I buy it,” is a cinch to address. Yes, buy it, if you have any interest at all in lichens, or even suspect that you might develop such an interest some day. It’s clearly the best buy in a natural history book that I’ve seen in a long, long time. A final bit of advice … “Remember to bend your knees when lifting!”
(This review was originally published in FUNGI, 2014, vol 7 nos.2-3.)
Great photos for making you interested in lichens in the first place!
The pictures look amazing: they are clear, well lit, and intriguingly composed.
Great intro for helping you understand how lichens live, reproduce, what their structures are, and why they are interesting for people and for animals.
Great descriptions for helping you identify lichens - in the blurb about each species, Brodo tells you which other species are the most similar, and how to tell them apart.
Inspired by this book, I have gone on lots of good lichen hunting adventures!
Lichens of North America is expensive, but it's worth every penny - I got this book 13 years ago and it's still one of my favorites!