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Publications - Occasional Papers

Guide to the Mosses of Colorado

INSTAAR Occasional Paper 6

1973, 48 pp. .

This guide to the Colorado mosses is patterned after the excellent series of little books produced by Prof. Helmut Gams of Innsbruck, Austria, entitled "Kleine Kryptogamenflora von Mitteleuropa." They are field guides to the mosses, lichens, ferns, fungi and algae of Central Europe, and their author is one of the keenest field men in Europe. As a compromise to the field requirement, they contain only keys and ecological notes. For more detailed descriptions and illustrations they assume the availability of more comprehensive literature. They also expect a certain amount of background on the part of the user.

I intend to enlarge this guide to include an instructional introduction, a glossary of terms, and illustrations of the species, but the present version is offered for testing and criticism in the meantime. Although this distillation represents more than twenty-five years of sporadic research, the work is now only well begun. The stones are laid, but the building has not assumed its final shape. We think we know what grows here, but there will be additions as soon as active field work by many students begins. We have some notions of habitats, but they are primitive notions and need refinement. Every observer comes to the field with a different pair of eyes and a different core of experience, and there have been too few of us up to now. I shall be satisfied if this guide will serve to bring bryology within the competence of students and ecological researchers, and serve as a guide to visiting bryologists from abroad, until such time as a more sophisticated work is made possible.

All of the species listed in the Guide are documented by herbarium specimens in the herbarium (cup) of the University of Colorado Museum. We welcome comments and criticisms, and are always interested in adding to the collections through contributions from collectors.

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