Protocols in Lichenology: Culturing, Biochemistry, Ecophysiology and Use in Biomonitoring (Springer Lab Manuals)

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9783540411390: Protocols in Lichenology: Culturing, Biochemistry, Ecophysiology and Use in Biomonitoring (Springer Lab Manuals)

As an intricate association between a fungus and one or more green algae or cyanobacteria, lichens are one of the most successful examples of symbiosis. These fascinating organisms survive extreme desiccation and temperatures. They are adapted to a great variety of habitats, from deserts to intertidal zones, from tropical rain forests to the peaks of the Himalayas and to circumpolar ecosystems. Lichens are extremely efficient accumulators of atmospherically deposited pollutants, and are therefore widely used to monitor environmental pollution. Their wide range of secondary products show pharmaceutically interesting fungicidal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Lichens are extremely difficult to culture. This manual provides well-tested tissue culture protocols, protocols for studying lichen ultrastructure, (eco)physiology, primary and secondary compounds, and for using lichens as bioindicators.

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As an intricate association between a fungus and one or more green algae or cyanobacteria, lichens are one of the most successful examples of symbiosis. These fascinating organisms survive extreme desiccation and temperatures. They are adapted to a great variety of habitats, from coastal fog zones of deserts to intertidal zones, from plant leaves in tropical rain forests to the glacial moraines of the Himalayas, and they are dominant components of communities in circumpolar ecosystems. Possibly, because of their tendency to grow in nutrient-poor habitats, lichens are extremely efficient accumulators of atmospherically deposited pollutants, and are therefore widely used to monitor environmental pollution. The wide range of secondary products only found in lichens show pharmaceutically interesting fungicidal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Lichens are extremely difficult to culture, grow very slowly, and their secondary metabolites very often complicate the analyses of other compounds. As a result, they require special techniques. This manual provides well-tested protocols, including tissue culture protocols and methods for studying lichen ultrastructure, (eco)physiology, primary and secondary compounds, and nucleic acids. Protocols for using lichens to monitor environmental pollution and to document lichen biodiversity are also provided. Special terms used in lichenology are explained in a glossary.

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"The aim of the reviewed book is to facilitate the experimental study of lichens by providing detail protocols of analytical methods well-tested in specialised laboratories. ... Each chapter of the book is accompanied by a list of important references. An attached glossary of morphological terms and subject index are also helpful for a potential user. The reviewed book represents an invaluable and unique collection of the most recent methodical approaches to the experimental study of lichens ... ." (J. Gloser, Photosynthetica, Vol. 40 (3), 2002)

"This compendium of techniques for handling lichens experimentally is a useful reference for both research and teaching. ... this volume also includes many helpful little tricks that do not usually appear in published research papers, as well as designs for practical devices ... . The book ends with an interesting collection of contributions related to the handling of specimens and data, along with a chapter by V. Wirth on lichen photography. This volume is really a functional working manual." (Dianne Fahselt, The Lichenologist, Vol. 34 (3), 2002)

"This practical guide pulls together a corpus of useful methodological material from a wide variety of sources. Thirty-two chapters, contributed by specialists in their fields, provide detailed descriptions of or more protocols necessary for the experimental lichenologist. ... the volume under review contains a wealth of practical advice (in terms of materials, procedures and trouble-shooting, often supported by extensive lists of references), some of which will have wider relevance beyond the lichenologist’s requirements." (The Naturalist, 2002)

"This is a welcome addition to the series because lichenological methods are seldom documented in texts on mycology, phycology or plant science. Methods described are wide ranging, most are lab procedures, but some are field-based ... . Instructions are more explicit than is usually in a research paper, and include useful tips, warnings of potential pitfalls, and sections on troubleshooting. ... this pleasingly produced volume is a creditable starting point. It is essential buying for lichenologists and deserves a place in institutional libraries ... ." (Peter Crittenden, Microbiology Today, Vol. 29, August, 2002)

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