The Liverworts (Bryophyta: Hepaticae and Anthocerotae) of Britain and Ireland

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Introduction

This Intkey package is generated from a DELTA database (Dallwitz 1980; Dallwitz, Paine, and Zurcher 1993). It is primarily intended to exemplify the practicability of providing comprehensive interactive facilities for identification and information retrieval for the Liverwort genera of Britain and Ireland, and especially to demonstrate the superiority of the interactive products over conventional taxonomic hard copy. The current generic data were first compiled from the family, generic, and species descriptions of Cooke (1907), Macvicar (1926), Watson (1978) and Smith (1990), cross referenced with their keys, then further cross referenced and edited with reference to Paton’s (1999) treatment. They are illustrated via the 228 detailed line drawings from Pearson’s (1902) magnum opus, and H.G. Jameson’s less aesthetically pleasing but supposedly more succinctly diagnostic ones from Macvicar’s work. The package incorporates no new observations on Liverworts, and no original taxonomic research has been brought to bear in preparing it, but considerable effort has been invested in trying to render the generic descriptions adequately comparative; a fairly unsatisfying experience, given the extensively non-comparative nature of the ostensibly detailed descriptive information provided by the authorities consulted (including the most recent - a problem not confined to Liverwort taxonomy, cf. Watson 1971). We emphasize that the current, operational package and the data incorporated in it are readily accessible for correcting, improving and extending, and are freely available to potential users on request.

Edited 29 August 2015


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