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Volume 55 contains an account of the largest family of lichens in Australia, the Parmeliaceae. This family, familiar to most people as the common grey or brown to yellowish green foliose lichens of rocks, soil and bark, has about 60 genera and 1000 species worldwide. Thirty-one genera and 395 species are recorded from Australia.
The largest genus, Xanthoparmelia, with 150 species, is primarily Southern Hemisphere in distribution, and Australia appears to be one of its main centres of speciation. Two other very large genera, Parmotrema (34 Australian species) and Hypotrachyna (16 Australian species), are widely distributed in the tropics. Other large genera treated in this volume are Neofuscelia (25 species) and Paraparmelia (38 species).
There are keys for identification of genera and species. Each species is fully described, with bibliographic information, a full Australian synonymy, notes on habitat and distribution, and a summary of its chemistry. A distribution map is provided for each taxon, and many species are illustrated in colour. An innovation in this volume is the inclusion of a synoptic key to the genera.
This volume covers 1 family, 31 genera and 395 species.