Lichenology is the branch of mycology that studies the lichens, symbiotic organisms made up of an intimate symbiotic association of a microscopic alga (or a cyanbacterium) with a filamentous fungus.
The taxonomy of lichens was first intensively investigated by the Swedish botanist Erik Acharius (1757-1819), who is therefore sometimes named the "father of lichenology". Acharius was a student of Carolus Linnaeus. Some of his more important works on the subject, which marked the beginning of lichenology as a discipline, are:
- Lichenographiae Suecia prodromus (1798)
- Methodus lichenum (1803)
- Lichenographia universalis (1810)
- Synopsis methodica lichenum (1814)
Later lichenologists include the American scientists Vernon Ahmadjian and Edward Tuckerman and the Russian evolutionary biologist Konstantin Merezhkovsky.
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