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the science of lichens; a branch of botany.
The first mention of lichens is found in Theophrastus (fourth to third centuries B.C.). Until the end of the 18th century, lichenological works mostly bore the character of floristic catalogs. The founder of lichenology as such was the Swedish botanist E. Acharius (1757–1819). The works of the German botanists G. Meyer and F. Walroth on the anatomical structure, nutrition, and reproduction of lichens were published in the 1820’s. Walroth established two types of lichen structure: homoeomerous and heteromerous. The Russian botanists A. S. Famintsyn and O. V. Baranetskii identified green cells in a lichen incorporating the free-living alga Trebouxia. In 1867–69, the German botanist S. Schwendener showed that the lichen is a compound organism consisting of a fungus and an alga.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Austrian lichenologist A. Zahlbruckner developed a system that is still accepted; in the 1920’s and 1930’s, he compiled a summary of the lichens known throughout the world. Cytological, physiological, and biochemical research on lichens intensified in Russia at the end of the 19th century; the geography of lichens became a subject of great interest in the USSR in the 1920’s. The works of A. A. Elenkin, A. N. Danilov, V. P. Savich, K. S. Merezhkovskii, and M. P. Tomin deal with the interrelationships of fungi and algae and with the ecology and geography of lichens.
A. N. OKSNER