Nomenclature and taxonomy of the genera of the Hericiales are discussed. The order contains the Auriscalpiaceae, Bondarzewiaceae, Echinodontiaceae, Gloeocystidiellaceae, Hericiaceae and Lachnocladiaceae. The analysis of characters that show a high degree of variation results in the suggestion of various lines of basidiome development, the conclusion that asterohyphidia are just an extreme of dichohyphidia, and support for the concept of a close relationship of gloeocystidia and lamprocystidia. The occurrence of both clavate and urniform basidia in several families and genera denotes this character as not diagnostic for higher taxonomic levels.
The pronounced ridges of the spores of Bondarzewia and Amylaria are connected with other, lower types of ornamentation. The genus-complexes Amylosporus — Heterobasidion — Wrightoporia, Dichostereum — Scytinostroma — Vararia and Amylosporomyces — Gloeocystidiellum — Scytinostromella are discussed. The delimitation of the Hericiales from the Stereales is not yet clear. Genera like Amylostereum, Mutatoderma, Fibriciellum and Merulicium are considered as related to the Hericiales. Descriptive keys to the species are given. The species of closely related genera are often keyed out together, especially in the case of genera distinguished by a single character. The concept of species complexes is maintained here. An annotated list of all species described in the genera of the Hericiales (incl. synonyms) is presented.
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