Lichens of North America (Hardcover)

Lichens of North America By Irwin M. Brodo, Sylvia Duran Sharnoff, Stephen Sharnoff Cover Image
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Lichens are a unique form of plant life, the product of a symbiotic association between an alga and a fungus. The beauty and importance of lichens have long been overlooked, despite their abundance and diversity in most parts of North America and elsewhere in the world. This stunning book—the first accessible and authoritative guidebook to lichens of the North American continent—fills the gap, presenting superb color photographs, descriptions, distribution maps, and keys for identifying the most common, conspicuous, or ecologically significant species.

The book focuses on 805 foliose, fruticose, and crustose lichens (the latter rarely included in popular guidebooks) and presents information on another 700 species in the keys or notes; special attention is given to species endemic to North America. A comprehensive introduction discusses the biology, structure, uses, and ecological significance of lichens and is illustrated with 90 additional color photos and many line drawings. English names are provided for most species, and the book also includes a glossary that explains technical terms. This visually rich and informative book will open the eyes of nature lovers everywhere to the fascinating world of lichens.

Published in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature

About the Author

Irwin M. Brodo is emeritus research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, and is considered a world authority on lichens and their biology. Stephen Sharnoff is and the late Sylvia Duran Sharnoff was research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden and research affiliate at the University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley. The Sharnoffs are both internationally renowned nature photographers and writers whose work has appeared in, among other places, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discover, and the New York Times.

Praise For…

"A fascinating journey into the Lilliputian world of [lichens]. . . . Photographs by Stephen Sharnoff and Sylvia Duran Sharnoff capture the distinctive forms, brilliant colors or delicate hues of 804 species (out of 1050 discussed in the book). The Sharnoffs and Irwin M. Brodo have created a stunning guide for nature lovers."—Wall Street Journal (Gift Guide)

"A fascinating journey into the Lilliputian world of [lichens] . . . a stunning guide for nature lovers."—Wall Street Journal, Gift Guide

"Impressive. . . . The photographs in this book are of superb quality, both scientifically and aesthetically. Virtually, each of the photographs is unique and could be framed as a separate masterpiece in a gallery. . . . This book is a source of inspiration for those who have already got or are likely to get infected by lichen fever. . . . A refreshing book on lichens for a broad circle of readers."—International Lichenological Newsletter

"Of value to professionals and amateurs alike, this book is certain to be a classic reference for decades to come."—Library Journal (starred review)

"A technically splendid catalogue that will not soon be matched. . . . [An] accessible, informative visual masterpiece."—Samuel Hammer, American Scientist

"A technically splendid catalogue that will not soon be matched. . . . The wonder and diversity of lichens are there for the viewing on page after page. Lichens, neglected and misunderstood despite their ubiquity, are brought out of obscurity in this volume. The photographs, unmatched in any previous work, breathe life into these unusual, stunningly beautiful symbiotic communities. The authors are to be praised for the accessible, informative visual masterpiece they have served up. The images invite the reader to appreciate, to touch, even to smell the lichens. . . . This handsome volume will . . . find a place in many lichenological venues, from classrooms to laboratories. It is sure to delight the eye of anyone who opens it. It may indeed inspire further nature study. And at just shy of $70, the book is a real bargain. . . . [It] will take its place as the foremost introductory text to the lichens of this continent."—Samuel Hammer, American Scientist

"The world of brilliantly colored lichens comes to life in this definitive work on a lowly, but ecologically important, group of organisms. . . . Exceptionally vibrant photographs of lichens taken by Sylvia and Stephen Sharnoff accompany the text of the book. . . . By virtue of its publication, this book has instantly become the standard guidebook for lichens and should be in every academic, public, and botanic garden collection."—ARBA (American Reference Books Annual 2003)

"This gorgeously illustrated tome is a comprehensive guide to the world’s genera of the larger and smaller lichens, in spite of the ‘North America’ in its name. . . . We recommend this book, a gift of world-class scholarship to the scientific community, without reservation. Given its current artificially low price, we suggest that all libraries, private and public, with even a remote interest in natural history obtain it now."—Lynn Margulis & Eva Barreno, BioScience

"If art is that which forever changes the way we see the world, then Lichens of North America is certainly art. No one who reads this book will walk in the natural world and see it the same way as before. . . . The text of the world has just been translated, and you will not be able to put it down. [It is] is at once a spectacularly beautiful book, an important scientific accomplishment and a great read. . . . [Brodo’s] language is crisp, clear and comprehensible, but it is more than that—Brodo writes with real style and grace."—David Arnason, BorderCrossings

"[The authors] have given us a monumentally conceived and superbly realized book about these curious evolutionary success stories. They have made their subject accessible to the nonspecialist by their intellectual clarity and . . . have also written a book of timeless value to specialists. . . . A book of such generous proportions and physical beauty is a bargain at $69.95."—Brooklyn Botanical Garden

"This encyclopedic volume overflows with gorgeous color photos, range maps, and habitat information that document the astounding diversity and beauty of more than 1,500 species."—Discover

"[M]y favorite book of the season. . . . [T]he most complete survey ever made of North American lichens, it weights in at just shy of 800 pages, each encrusted with Latin names and chemical formulae. But ever page also harbors glorious color photographs of these strangest of plants. . . . Irwin M. Brodo, a lichenologist with the soul of a poet, has written accessible and elegant introductory essays for the lay people he hopes will use his book alongside the scientists."—Polly Shulman, Newsday

"[A]mazing . . . a gift, a tribute . . . a masterpiece . . . your guide to the . . . enchanting diversity of the lichen life."—Bryan Pfeiffer, Northern Woodlands

"[An] amazing book, Lichens of North America, is a gift, a tribute to the beauty, grace, oddity, and dignity of some of the planet’s most obvious yet overlooked organisms. This encyclopedic book grabs you by the shoulders and shouts, ‘Open your senses to lichens and discover what you’ve been missing!’. . . . Let Lichens of North America, a masterpiece, be your guide to the crusty, flaky, fruity, odd, and enchanting diversity of the lichen life."—Bryan Pfeiffer, Northern Woodlands

"With Lichens of North America, [Brodo] is aiming to do something that has never been done before—produce a guide to the 3,600 species of lichens known to live in North America and introduce them to nature-lovers."—Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen

"Lichens of North America isone of those rare books that can radically alter your experience of the natural world. . . . The diversity of these creatures is astounding, as the hundreds of beautifully reproduced color photographs will attest. The hues and textures creep off the page and allow the abstract compositions to capture the microscopic alien landscapes of our own backyards. It’s among the most beautiful art books produced this year and belongs on the coffee table of anyone who desires a fuller understanding of life on earth."—Andrew Ervin, Philadelphia City Paper

"[A] photo-illustrated guide that should not be overlooked. . . lavish. . . Every person interested in natural history should have a copy."—Paula T. DePriest, Science

"A carefully produced masterpiece. . . . [A] photo-illustrated guide that should not be overlooked. . . . This lavish volume, published in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature, is more than could have been expected. . . . Every person interested in natural history should have a copy."—Paula T. DePriest, Science

"Besides providing such extensive coverage of its subject, Lichens of North America isa masterpiece of photographic illustration. . . . I would recommend it for every serious professional and amateur lichenologist and for every public and university library. With its reasonable list price every person interested in natural history should have a copy. . . . Enjoyment of North American lichens has long been restricted to professionals and the most determined amateurs. This superior guidebook will make them accessible to all."—Paula T. DePriest, Science

"[A] masterpiece of photographic illustration. . . for every serious professional and amateur . . . every public and university library. . . [A] superior guidebook."—Paula T. DePriest, Science

". . . [S]omething . .  .never . . . done before . . . a guide to the 3,600 species of lichens . . . in North America . . . [for] nature-lovers."—Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen

"[A] beautiful first-of-its-kind introduction to . . . lichen . . . [With] intimate, delicate, colour portraits . . . for people of all interests. . . ."—Toronto Globe & Mail

"[A] beautiful first-of-its-kind introduction to the biology, structure, habitat, human use and identification of 1,500 common species of lichen in North America. . . . Most dazzling are the 804 large, intimate, delicate, colour portraits of the lichen, which makes this a delight for people of all interests, whether scientific, artistic, or otherwise."—Toronto Globe & Mail (Best of Year 2001)

"It has given such pleasure that I’d gladly have paid double the price. . . . Exquisitely beautiful colour photographs. . . . Any one of the photographs could be hung on a wall as abstract art. . . . I had no idea such beauty and such diversity existed under my very nose. As a result, if I don’t answer emails, it’s because I’ve gone rambling in the woods."—Cameron Smith, Toronto Star

"Several new lichen books have been published in the last few years, but none of them begins to match the comprehensiveness and beauty of this encyclopedic tome. . . . This book truly bridges the gap between botanical specialists and novices to lichens—it is packed with valuable information for professionals and students, while remaining easily accessible to the general public. . .. Lichens of North America ismost highly recommended for biologists, ecologists, naturalists, and nature lovers."—Wildlife Activist

Winner of the New England Book Show, in the category of Reference books, sponsored by the Bookbuilders of Boston

Winner of the 2002 Henry Allan Gleason Award given by The New York Botanical Garden

Winner of the 2002 Council on Botanical & Horticultural Libraries Award

Winner of the 2002 National Outdoor Book Award for Nature Guidebooks

Winner of the 2001 R. R. Hawkins Award for the Outstanding Professional Reference or Scholarly Work given by the Association of American Publishers

"Lichens of North America isone of the great natural history books of this or any age—a work in which art and science are perfectly united in tribute to one of the most beautiful, important, and least described parts of nature."—David Ehrenfeld, Rutgers University

"This is a book to love. It will open a whole new world for naturalists, professional and amateur, to explore and enjoy."—E. O. Wilson

"A long-sought triumph, gorgeously illustrated, accurate, accessible, and comprehensive."—Lynn Margulis, University of Massachusetts

"A superb and indispensable book for anyone truly interested in the biodiversity of North America."—Peter Crane, director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

"This volume is the twenty-first-century lichen equivalent of Audubon’s Birds of America."—Thomas E. Lovejoy, Smithsonian Institution

Product Details
ISBN: 9780300082494
ISBN-10: 0300082495
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: September 10th, 2001
Pages: 828
Language: English