Michigan Ferns & Lycophytes: A Guide to the Species of the Great Lakes Region by Daniel D. PalmerSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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246 THE GREAT LAKES BOTANIST Vol. 59
Daniel D. Palmer. 2018. Michigan Ferns & Lycophytes: A Guide to Species of the Great Lakes Region. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. x + 381 pp., paperback $29.95. ISBN 978-0472-03711-7. ebook $23.95. ISBN 978-0472- 12365-0.
BotanistsandplantenthusiastsinMichiganarefortunateinhavingseveralrecentandup- to-dateguidestothestateâ€™sflora,includingthecomprehensiveField Manual of Michigan Flora (2012) by Edward G. Voss andAntonA. Reznicek, Michigan Trees (revised and updated edition, 2004) by Burton V. Barnes and Warren H. Wagner, Jr., and Michigan Shrubs & Vines (2016) by Burton V. Barnes, Christopher W. Dick, andMelanie E. Gunn. To these is now addedthis excellent and complete guide to the ferns andlycophytes ofthe state.
The main descriptive portion of the book is divided into four major groupings: Equisetaceae, Ferns (Polypodiopsida), Ophioglossaceae, andLycophytes.1 Each of these four parts contains a separate treatment for each species that includes the scientific name, important synonyms, one or more common names, a description of the species as it occurs in Michigan, a description of the habitat, and adiscussion ofthe distribution in Michigan as well as, in generalterms, its overalldistribution.Adot map accompanies each species account with a dot in eachcountyinthestateinwhichthespeciesisknowntooccur,basedonherbarium specimens, as well as â€œknowledgeable persons, literature searches, fieldworkers, and [the authorâ€™s] own experience.â€ In addition, each species is illustrated, usuallywithscansoffreshmaterial,ifavailable,otherwisedriedmaterial. Detailsintheillustrationsarealsooftenmarkedwithnumberedarrows,keyedto datainthecaptions,andsometimescontaindrawingsofcriticalfeatures.Thedescriptions are excellent, helpfully divided into paragraphs for each character, whichis itselfindicatedin boldface type.
Thebookisamplyprovidedwithidentificationkeys,butwithsomecuriouslacunaeandinconsistencies, noneofwhichareindicatedinthediscussionofhowto usethekeysintheIntroduction.Toallaytheconfusionthatfirst-time users ofthe bookmayexperience(asIdid)infindingkeysanddescriptions,thefollowingtips maybeuseful.Thefirstsection,Equisetaceae,containsakeytothespeciesinthe onlygenus,Equisetum.Inaddition,thereisaveryusefultwo-pagechartcomparingthespecieswithrespecttosixmajorcharacters, andadescriptionofthegenus arrangedinthesamemannerasthedescriptionsofindividualspeciesasdescribed inthepreviousparagraph.Thesecondsection,devotedtoâ€œFerns,â€hasnodescription ofthatgroup at all,butdoes have akeyto genera.The genera in this section
1Note, however, that the Introduction indicates that the descriptive portion divides the pteridophytes into two parts, the first containing the ferns, stated to include the Polypodiopsida (later diverging ferns), Equisetum, and the Ophioglossaceae, and the second containing the lycophytes. But this organizational scheme is not reflected either in the layout of the book or in the table of contents.
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are arranged alphabetically without regard to family. For each genus with more thanonespecies,thereisakeytospecies.Descriptionsofthefamiliesandkeysto genera within families appear only in an appendix. However, there is no key to families, either in the main portion ofthe book or in the appendix.The third section, Ophioglossaceae,whichhasfourgenera,hasnokeytogeneraordescription ofthefamilyattheoutsetofthesection.Thereis,however,atablecomparingthe fourgenerawithrespecttoeachof14characters,andakeytospeciesundereach ofthetwogenerawithmorethanonespecies.Atthebeginningofthesection,the readerisdirectedtotheappendixforâ€œadescriptionofthefamilyandakeytothe Michigangenera.â€Thefourthsection,Lycophytes,includesthreefamilies.Twoof the families have only one genus, but there are keys to the genera of Lycopodiaceae, and to the species in all genera with more than one species.Akey to the familiesoflycophytesisprovidedintheappendix.
Thereismuchmorethanthisinthisfinebook.Throughout,onecanfindtables comparing various taxa with respectto several characters. There is muchdiscussion ofhybrids, althoughthese are notgiven fulltreatment or includedin keys; a particularly noteworthy example isthe discussion under Dryopteris.Each species accountprovidesanetymologyofthescientificnameandprovidesadiscussionof thespecies,sometimesquiteextensive,thatoftenincludeshabitatinformationand additional distinguishing information, sometimes with respect to look-alike species in other genera that would notbe includedin the generic keys.There are, inaddition,extensivediscussionsectionsundermanygeneraandfamilies.
Anintroductionprovidesasubstantialoverviewoffernandlycophytebiology, includingsuchtopicsaslifecycles,reproductivebiology,evolutionaryhistory,and ecology,aswellasthehistoryofthestudyoffernsinMichigan.Theappendixincludes an enumeration ofthe state, national, andglobal status of rare and endangeredspeciesofpteridophytesinthestate. Thebookconcludeswithashortessay ontheevolutionoftaxonomicconcepts,aglossary,abibliography,andanindex.
Aminorquibble:thesubtitleofthebook,â€œAGuidetotheSpeciesoftheGreat LakesRegion,â€ismisleading,becauseitimpliesthatallspeciesoffernsandlycophytesthatoccurintheGreatLakesregion( atermthatisnotdefinedinthebook orotherwiseevenmentioned)areincluded,whetherornottheyoccurinMichigan. Thatis notthe case; only species known from Michigan are treatedin this book, and users cannot therefore be confident that any pteridophyte encounteredin the broaderGreatLakesregionwillbetreated.Togivethreeexamples:(1)IsoÃ«tes butleri andI. melanopoda arebothknownfromnortheasternIllinois,withintheGreat Lakes region, but are absent from this book. (2) Woodwardia areolata is mentionedinpassing( becauseitwasreportedfromVanBurenCountyin1880),butno meansofidentifyingitisprovided.However,itiscurrentlyknownfromtheIndiana Dunes area in northwestern Indiana and from Cook County, Illinois, both at thesouthern end ofLakeMichigan.(3)ThebookmentionsthatCystopteris montana andC. tennesseensis areknownfromthenorthernshoreofLakeSuperiorand shouldbe soughtin Michigan, although no means of identification are provided. Cystopteris tennesseensis is also known from northeastern Illinois and is fairly widespreadinWisconsin.
This outstandingguide should make life much easier for all ofthose seeking to learn more aboutthis fascinatinggroup ofplants in Michigan. â€”â€”MichaelHuft