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Titel Rosellinia - a world monograph, Bibliotheca Mycologica, Band 205
AuteursLiliane E. Petrini:
Prijs € 119,00
Jaar van uitgifte2013
410 pagina′s

72 figures, 790 g

Key features of Rosellinia (Xylariaceae, Ascomycetes) are uniperitheciate, subglobose, apically depressed, carbonaceous stromata with papillate ostioles nested in a subiculum and brown, unicellular ascospores, their length ranging from 10 μm to over 150 μm. Seven groups, each comprising morphologically homogeneous species, can be distinguished based on ascospore length: width ratio, synnematous or mononematous anamorph, subiculum extension, and stroma thickness.

142 species are accepted, including 37 new species, one new combination and one validated species name. A dichotomous key allows keying out Rosellinia-like genera; dichotomous keys to morphological groups and species within the genus are presented, along with a synoptic key, and all accepted taxa are illustrated on 72 photographic plates or by line drawings. Many taxa are represented by either few collections or only a single collection and only approximately twenty species by more than ten collections. Tables display the host range and the geographical distribution of the Rosellinia specimens examined. Excluded species are listed and selected literature on pathogenic species is reviewed. The reasons to accept Rosellinia, for the time being, as a heterogeneous genus, and not splitting it up, are critically discussed. This classical, taxonomic monograph addresses all mycologists interested in the morphology and taxonomy of xylariaceous fungi.

Book Review: Inoculum 66(2), March 2015

Liliane Petrini’s Rosellinia – a world monograph is a masterful piece of work, representing a lifetime of study of this fascinating genus. I have been working with fungi in the Xylariaceae for four years now, and have become intimately familiar with the available literature in the group; this book is a much-needed step forward in xylariaceous taxonomy.

The first thing anyone will notice flipping through this monograph is the number of taxa represented by few, or even single, collections. Liliane takes a very narrow species concept, I think justifiably, preferring to acknowledge differences over potentially incorrect lumping. In the introduction, she says simply: “I decided to adopt a narrow species concept to describe as many morphological differences as possible between taxa, to be verified in the future by phylogenetic studies.” Jack Rogers also addresses this in his Preface to the monograph, noting the great paucity of collections (and collectors) of such fungi, and the compounding effects of ecological traits such as rare fruiting and endophytic lifestyles.

This work details 142 species, including 37 newly described species, and one new combination. The bulk of the book is taken up by clear and concise species descriptions and excellent illustrations. I cannot overstate the quality of the illustrations provided: Liliane has gone above and beyond in her creation of fine photographs and micrographs for this work. She also provides excellent dichotomous keys, including a key to similar genera, a key to morphological groups in the genus Rosellinia, and keys to species within each group, as well as a synoptic key to species.

I wanted to test out these keys thoroughly before writing this review. To give the keys a full workout, I went to the herbarium at Oregon State University and borrowed several dozen Rosellinia collections, mostly collected by one of my mentors, Dr. George C. Carroll, and mostly unidentified on the packets. I found, conveniently, that many of these collections were also borrowed by Liliane Petrini and used in the writing of this book. I am pleased to report that nearly everything keyed beautifully, and when I perused the list of specimens examined, I nearly always found the herbarium number for the packet in hand. This included one of those species known from just a single collection, R. carrollii LE Pet., named in honor of its collector. The herbarium had not updated its labels, so I did not know what I was keying until I got to the end of the key and found the specimen number listed. In general, I think it would be impossible to write clearer keys, or to provide more detailed and informative species descriptions and illustrations.

Working with material that Liliane had not borrowed, however, it quickly became apparent that there is a reason so many taxa are represented by so few collections. Such material often turned out to be extremely common species (R. subiculata, or R. aquila, for example), or else not treated. Given that this work represents as fair a stab at the sum total of knowledge about the genus as is possible, “not treated” in this case likely means “an undescribed species.” Given the rarity and under-collected nature of these fungi, I am not surprised by this; I am, however, encouraged to seek out and collect Rosellinia. In many ways, I interpret this book as a call to action: it would be a waste of the hard work and dedication that Liliane has put into this treatment to not build upon its foundations.

Liliane’s excellent book is essential to anyone interested in the Xylariaceae, and will be of great interest to those interested in small pyrenomycetes in general. The figures and keys are invaluable resources for identification of Rosellinia, and outstrip anything that has come before in quality, clarity, and comprehensiveness. But, despite that comprehensiveness and the great effort that can be seen in this treatment, this book must be seen as a starting point: it is obvious from even a cursory reading that our understanding of Rosellinia is far from complete. Liliane has taken all of the threads of scientific discourse that center around the genus—and her own long years of hard work extending those threads—and woven them into a comprehensive tapestry, from which new threads of discourse must grow. I believe this ambitious work will find a place in mycological history, not as the end of a long history of study, but as a beginning.

Roo Vandegrift, Inst. of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon Inoculum 66(2), March 2015