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In September 2015, a scientific conference was held in Graz, Austria, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Josef Poelt’s death. This scientist was one of the most renowned botanists of the last century who worked on many groups of lower plants, fungi and especially lichens. Of the contributions at the conference, 25 have been worked out and are presented in this book. They have been written mainly by former doctoral students of Josef Poelt or their scholars, or by some of his colleagues with whom he had cooperated.
In the first contribution, a description of Josef Poelt’s life and scientific career, his fields of study, his colleagues, important research trips, his scientific oeuvre and its approval within the scientific community is given. This paper also gives a list of Poelt’s doctoral students and the many fields they worked on. In the second contribution, an overview of the history and development of cryptogamic research is presented in view of more and more refined analysis techniques and the resulting outcome. These two reviews are followed by a series of papers on taxonomical, ecological and applied aspects of saprobic, symbiotic or parasitic fungi, or of lichens, respectively. The papers are based on classical, ecological, geographical as well as molecular studies and offer insight into the distribution or into the phylogeny and taxonomy of selected groups of fungi and lichens. A few papers stress aspects on the state of research of groups of organisms in special regions of the world, while others deal with the state of research from a historical point of view. The final contribution deals with phylogenetic aspects in mosses.
The more than 700-page book is complemented by many informative illustrations, schemes and images.