Foliicolous lichens, one of the important components of biodiversity in wet or moist, high humid, foggy tropical and subtropical forests, are confined mostly on the upper surface of live leaves of plants. This interesting group of epiphytic lichens in the phyllosphere is also regarded as one of the best potential indicators of environmental disturbances and forms the least studied group of lichens in India. Therefore, the present contribution is made towards this direction.
Foliicolous Lichens of India deals with the detailed floristic account of foliicolous lichens so far, known from India based on the critical examinations of more than 4,000 specimens collected from various remote localities, especially from North-Eastern states of India as well as specimens preserved in various lichen herbaria of the country. This is the first comprehensive account of foliicolous lichens of India, dealing with 136 species, spread in 38 genera and 15 families along with their keys for identification of taxa, carnera lucida diagrams and photographs of most of the dealt species.
Besides the chapters on lichen vegetation, methodology, discussion and relationship of the foliicolous lichens with other regions, both inside and outside India, the study also discovered 4 new species and 1 variety new to science, 26 species new records for India, 36 species new records for Eastern Himalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, 37 species new to Sikkim, 35 species new to West Bengal, 20 species new to Manipur, 47 species new to Meghalaya, 21 species new to Mizoram, 10 species new to Assam, 7 species new to Nagaland and Tamil-Nadu and 2 species new to Central India. Some interesting results of these have already been published. Based on the author's own field observations and collections it is observed that 60 species fall under the rare category and 10 taxa are endemic. As a whole, India supports 14.7% of foliicolous lichen ﬂora of the world.
The authors hope that the present comprehensive account of foliicolous lichens of India will serve as identification manual and meets the needs of students, teachers, scientists and naturalists interested in this group of lichens in India and abroad. It will also be useful to policy makers and the officials of forestry sector while devising conservation and management strategies.
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