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The lichen collection of Herbarium GB has been built up over a long period. It holds ca 65 000 specimens including 160 types. Several hundred Swedish and foreign lichenologists have contributed to the collection, which is the fourth largest in Sweden. The oldest material once belonged to the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg, but was transferred in 1861 to the newly formed Gothenburg Museum.

Early years

The earliest collections were made by Olof Swartz (1760–1818) on his journey to the West Indies (1784–86). Other early collections were made in the first decades of the 1800s in Norway and Lapland by Göran Wahlenberg. Among the most passionate collectors from the late 1800s are Pehr Johan Hellbom (1827–1903) and Johan Hulting (1842–1929), who also described new lichen species which types can be found in our herbarium. Other notable collectors from this time that made contributions to Herbarium GB include Olof Blomberg, Herman Falk, Karl Forssell, Thore Fries, and Teodor Hedlund. From the first half of the 1900s, the majority of our collections were made by Hugo Magnusson (see below), Carl Stenholm, the brothers Carl and Sixten Bergström (who have contributed many thousands of specimens), and Erik Vrang. Other well-known lichenologists who are represented in our collection are Einar Du Rietz and Gustav Malme.

Recent years

In the recent years, Lars Arvidsson’s collection of approximately 10 000 specimens has been included in the herbarium (apart from the ca 8 000 Ecuadorian ones that were already incorporated), as well as a collection from Borås of more than 3 000 specimens. Other recent material is collected by Sven Bergqvist (lichens from Sotenäset), Yngve Eliasson (rock-growing marine lichens), Vilhelm Gillner, Svante Hultengren, Marie Lindström (lichens from South America and West Indies), Per-Olof Martinsson, Dan Nilsson, Björn Nordén, Ingvar Nordin, Leif & Anita Stridvall, Bertil Ståhl, and Staffan Wall.

Three lichenologists

Hugo Magnusson (1885–1964) worked for many years as a teacher in Göteborg. He was a very keen collector of lichens, and built up his own herbarium of more than 70 000 specimens, of which the majority now are found in Uppsala. However, a large number of specimens (including types) were donated to Herbarium GB. His main interest was crustose lichens, and he became a world-authority on this subject. Hugo Magnusson described ca 900 species, and for his achievements he received a honorary doctorate at Uppsala University in 1932.

Gunnar Degelius (1903–1993) defended his thesis on the oceanic lichens in Scandinavia in Uppsala in 1935. He moved to Gothenburg in 1955 to work at the Botanical Garden and the herbarium. He was lecturer in systematic botany at the former Botanical Institute from 1962, and in 1965 he became professor. Gunnar Degelius was one of the foremost Swedish lichenologists, and worked on lichen taxonomy (e.g. on the genus Collema) as well as on species distributions and ecology. Most of his collections are found in Uppsala, but our herbarium holds a large number of duplicates. Gunnar Degelius described 171 new lichen species and varieties.

Lars Arvidsson (b. 1949) defended his taxonomic thesis on the genus Coccocarpia and related lichens. Between 1970 and 1984 he taught systematic botany, and between 2010 and 2016 he was adjunct professor of cryptogamic botany and nature conservation. Lars Arvidsson has, among other things, been involved in writing all seven Swedish Red Lists that were published 1987–2015. He has described one new lichen genus (Degelia) and nearly 30 new species, and has made a number of new combinations. Lars Arvidsson’s collections come from Ecuador, Scandinavia, Svalbard, Wales, Spain, Morocco, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores.

Letharia vulpina

Photo: S. Hultengren


Usnea florida

Photo: S. Hultengren

Variospora thallincola

Photo: S. Hultengren

Page Manager: Sven Toresson|Last update: 11/27/2017

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