Desmid Identification Monographs
W. & G.S.
West: A Monograph of the British Desmidiaceae
Links: The volumes 1-5 concern searchable pdf files.
the desmid floral works completed, still the best there is. Unfortunately,
volume 5 is much less critical and reliable than volumes 1-4. Moreover,
the whole series, of course, is far from up-to-date. Although focussed
on desmid taxa encountered in the United Kingdom, applicable to the greater
part of Europe.
A.J. Brook & D.B. Williamson, 2010: A Monograph on some British Desmids
Krieger: Die Desmidiaceen Europas mit Berücksichtigung der aussereuropäischen
Photomechanical reprint of Teil 1 and Teil 2 by Johnson Reprint Corporation, New York/London: 1971
fascicles of Rabenhorst's Kryptogamenflora only deal with part of the
desmid genera, i.e., all Mesotaenious genera, as well as the Desmidiaceous
genera Penium, Closterium, Docidium, Pleurotaenium, Triploceras, Ichthyocercus,
Tetmemorus, Euastrum and Micrasterias. Krieger's flora may be considered
a sound and critical one, dealing not only with European species but also
with a fair number of tropical taxa. However, it is a great pity that
the biggest (and most problematic) genera Cosmarium and Staurastrum are
Krieger & J. Gerloff: Die Gattung Cosmarium
above-mentioned work does not deal with the complete genus Cosmarium,
but only with those species characterized by smooth-walled cells. Originally
meant by Krieger as a another part in Rabenhorst's Kryptogamenflora it
was finally composed by Gerloff on the basis of material and manuscripts
left by Krieger after his death in 1954. Although Gerloff tried to maintain
the high standard of Krieger's work he did not succeed.Treatment of the
taxa in 'Die Gattung Cosmarium' is much shallower and less critical than
that in Krieger's Rabenhorst volumes.
Ruzicka: Die Desmidiaceen Mitteleuropas
far the best desmid flora ever written. Most critical, most elaborated
and illustrated in much detail. Intentionally of such a high standard
that it is not to be completed within a single author's life-span. Ruzicka's
flora deals with the genera Gonatozygon, Genicularia, Penium, Closterium,
Docidium, Pleurotaenium, Triploceras, Triplastrum, Actinotaenium, Tetmemorus,
Euastrum and Micrasterias. So, just like in Krieger's flora, the big catch-all
genera Cosmarium and Staurastrum are badly wanted (next to another series
of smaller ones).
Förster: Conjugatophyceae - Zygnematales und Desmidiales (excl. Zygnemataceae)
sound and critical flora, but suffering from an essential disadvantage:
it deals with a rather small and arbitrary selection of taxa from all
over the world. In view of the aim of the Huber-Pestalozzi series, Förster's
flora is focussed on planktonic desmids. However, as there are but few
really euplanktonic species among the desmids this selection was supplied
with a fair number of tychoplanktonic species (the great majority in the
desmids). No geographical curtailment being at issue, that choise of tychoplanktonic
species in the framework of a single volume inevitably is an arbitrary
one. For that reason, Förster's flora, critical though it may be, serves
as a complementary work rather than as a basic floral work.
Prescott et al.: A Synopsis of North American Desmids
1: North American Flora, Series 2, Part 6. The New York Botanical Garden,
Not a critical flora, but rather a compilation of all desmid taxa ever reported from North America. As the North American desmid flora is very rich in species, Prescott's synopsis is particularly useful as literature reference work.
Croasdale et al: Flora of New Zealand Desmids
1: Government Printing Office, Wellington.
In design comparable with Prescott's Synopsis of North American desmids, it suffers from the same shortcomings (although, in general, it is a bit more critical and the average quality of the illustrations is better). In view of the rather modest species richness of the New Zealand desmid flora the applicability of this monograph hardly extends beyond this country. Still for sale (Koeltz) (Vol. 1: ca DM 50; Vol. 2: ca DM 80; Vol. 3: ca DM 150))
Lenzenweger: Desmidiaceenflora von Österreich
Concise, but very useful flora with plenty of (mostly original) accurate illustrations. Applicable in the greater part of Europe. Although taxonomically not very critical it is one of the best options for the beginning desmidiologist in temperate climatic or alpine regions. Still for sale (Koeltz) (ca 100 DM per volume)
P.F.M. Coesel & J. Meesters, 2007: Desmids of the Lowlands
Intended as a concise, but rather critical flora; provided with original illustrations. Due to the explicit lowland character of the Netherlands it is less useful in mountainous regions. Vol. 4-6 still for sale (ca 30 DM per volume, firstname.lastname@example.org ), vol. 1-3 only second-hand.