History of Phycology - Late 19th Century

Late 19th Century

Much work was done in this period by many workers and the many specimens became very valuable. Harvey's specimens, are to be found in at least several herbaria as well as those of other phycologists whose names are to be found in historic publications. In the same period Friedrich Traugott Kützing (1807–1893) in Germany described more new genera than anyone either before or after (Chapman, 1968 p. 13). His publications span the period 1841 to 1869 and added materially to knowledge of algae of cold waters of the Arctic seas. Some of his specimens are stored in the Ulster Museum Herbarium (BEL) catalogued: F1171; F10281–F10318. In 1883 Frans Reinhold Kjellman, Professor of Botany at Uppsala University, published The Algae of the Arctic Sea. He divided the "Arctic Sea" into different regions which surround the North Pole (Kjellman, 1883). Further research work on the marine algae of the world included: Charles Lewis Anderson (1827–1910) who collaborated with William Gilson Farlow and with Professor Daniel Cady Eaton to produce on the first exsiccatae of North American Algae (Papenfuss, 1976). Edward Morell Holmes (1843–1930), was an expert on seaweeds, mosses, liverworts and lichens, specimens were sent to him from all over the British Isles, as well as from Norway, Sweden, Florida, Tasmania, France, Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon and Australia. He also exchanged specimens (Furley, 1989). and some are in the herbarium of the Ulster Museum (BEL). George Clifton (1823–1913) an Australian phycologist is mentioned in Harvey's Memoirs, as the Superintendent of the Water Police in Perth, West Australia sent algal specimens to Harvey (Blackler, H.1977). In these years there were many workers in this field: W.G. Farlow, mentioned above, who was appointed in 1879 Professor of Cryptogamic Botany at University of Harvard (U.S.A.) in 1879 and published, among other works, the Marine algae of New England and Adjacent Coasts.; in 1876 John Erhard Areschoug, a Swedish Professor of Botany at Upsalla University, reported on some brown algae collected in California by Gustavus A. Eisen (Papenfuss. 1976). George W.Traill (1836–1897) was a clerk in the Standard Life Company in Edinburgh where he worked long hours, yet he was one of the greatest authorities on Scottish algae. Despite bad health he was an indefatigable collector. In 1892 he gave his collection to the Herbarium of the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens (Furley, 1989).

Mikael Heggelund Foslie (M.Foslie) (1855–1905) published 69 papers between 1887–1909. During this time he increased the number of species and forms (of corallines) from 175 to 650 (Irvine and Chamberlain, 1994). After his death his collection of specimens was purchased by the Museum of the Royal Norwegian Society for Sciences and Letters (Thor et al., 2005) and there is a small collection of his in the Ulster Museum Herbarium: (Collection No. 42) entitled: Algae Norvegicae (Ulster Museum Herbarium catalogue (BEL): F10319–F10334). F.Heydrich also described 84 taxa and was a bitter foe of Foslie. This left a legacy of complicated and still unresolved problems.

It was in the 19th Century that the true nature of lichens, as organisms consisting of an alga and a fungus in specific association, was demonstrated by Schwendener in 1867. This removed a source of confusion in morphology and classification (Morton, 1981 p. 432). It was in this period (1859) that Charles Darwin (1809–1882) published his book on evolution:On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,....

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