Antarctica's severe climate and restricted area of ice-free habitats limit the biodiversity and biota of its terrestrial ecosystems. Throughout much of this wilderness, lichens are the predominant visible life form, yet relatively few descriptive accounts of Antarctic lichens have been published. This volume provides the first modern detailed compilation of their taxonomy, ecology, distribution, and relevant published literature. As such, it represents a major contribution to global lichen taxonomy and biogeography. The systematic accounts provide sufficient descriptive information to allow specialists to identify taxa to species level, and are structured so that even nonspecialists can use them to identify specimens to at least the generic level.
Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Environment and lichen ecology of Antarctica and South Georgia; Materials and methods; Artificial keys to the genera; Systematic and ecological accounts of the genera and species; References; Glossary; Index of taxa.
"This is a useful and beautifully produced book that can be highly recommended." Artic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
"You will probably never have the opportunity to try out this field guide but you can go there vicariously using this lightweight tour guide...experience the thrill of discovery, for this is the first comprehensive and critical taxonomic guide to a dominant part of a long-neglected ecosystem." Biodiversity
"With the appearance of Ovstedal and Lewis Smith's excellent identification manual, Antarctic lichens have finally received a thorough treatment... The book, being desinged for nonspecialists as well as specialists, ends with an excellent, remarkably concise glossary. All of this information is packaged in a well bound, attractively produced volume with the added bonus of over 100 colour photographs illustrating habitats and individual species... It is an indispensable reference for anyone working with austral lichens." Irwin M. Brodo, Journal of the Arctic Institute of North America
"... [A] starting point for further studies, the book describes and provides dichotomous keys for a surprising diversity of lichens... [T]his ... specialized volume ... will be useful to general botanists as well as specialists in the region of study." Choice