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Austral Hepaticae, Part I

Series: Nova Hedwigia Beihefte Series Volume: 118

By: Rudolf M Schuster

524 pages, 211 b/w line drawings, 1 table

Gebrüder Borntraeger Verlag

Paperback | Dec 2000 | #120199 | ISBN: 344351040X
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £154.00 $202/€172 approx

About this book

The proliferation of "species" – often placed in the "wrong" genus, has impacted all taxonamic work in 20th Century hepaticology. The same species may have been described under 3-4, or more, genera; under a single genus, such as Lepidolejeunea, species have been described in some 10-12 genera. The greatest outstanding need is for a synthesis that attempts to critically define families and, in particular, genera and subgenera. For more than a century nobody has attempted such a synthesis. This work attempts to answer this need by providing a modern synthesis of what we have learned, mostly in the second half of the twentieth century, about the families and genera of liverworts. It deals primarily with the conceptual bases that underlie a modern classification of the Hepaticae: the boundaries of suborders, families and genera are drawn by evaluating modern criteria. In such an evaluation emphasis is on features largely unused prior to 1950: ramification patterns and branch origins; capsule wall anatomy; seta and stem anatomy; oil-bodies and cell wall criteria.

This volume contains 211 figures, drawn by the author, which illustrate these features and also show many taxa in drawings illustrating basic aspects of each genus. Almost all larger groups were studied from living plants and emphasis is on liverworts as living organisms. The larger genera of Hepaticae are each illustrated with several plates and emphasis is on "key" genera which occupy critical phylogenetic positions, such as Lepidozia, Pseudocephalozia and Paracromastigum. No attempt is made at species diagnoses but generic boundaries, in larger genera, are defined by illustrating several species per genus. Except for genera with numerous species, keys to species are provided. In numbered annotations diverse problems, such as generic relationships and boundaries, are discussed; key species are often treated at length. As noted in the Introduction, since all taxa cannot be illustrated and/or described, for all larger genera the "type" method is used: boundaries are established by treating (and illustrating) key taxa so as to draw logical boundaries for each genus – and family.

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