This entirely new English edition, comprehensively revised and edited by T.L. Blockeel, has been translated from German, with some additional text, by the authors.
In the past ten years there have been many advances in our knowledge of the taxonomy and distribution of European bryophytes and pteridophytes, all of which have been taken into account in this, the first English translation of Die Moos- und Farnpflanzen Europas, published in its sixth edition in 1995 as Volume 4 of the highly regarded Kleine Kryptogamenflora.
The structure of the book takes the form of an extended key to just under 2000 European species in which families and genera are keyed out mostly as single units. The format is that of a field guide. The systematic arrangement of the book largely follows the structure of the keys inherited from the previous edition, and the sequence of the text, with few exceptions, follows that of the excellent published figures. Consequently, it has been considered unwise to introduce too many systematic innovations, particularly as many systematic and phylogenetic questions remain to be answered At the same time, every effort has been made to ensusre comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of the species occurring in Europe.
Despite certain inherent difficulties, the opportunity has been taken by the editor to modify sections of the text, correct errors and iron out ambiguities and inconsistencies. As in the last German edition, some rare and newly added species are not keyed out independently but are treated briefly by means of a clearly indicated annotation in the body of the key.
The book is unique in its coverage of all bryophyes and ferns to found within this large and varied geographical area, its scope extending from Iceland in the west to the Ural Mountains in the east and including the northern Macaronesian islands.The fern section has been further extended to include Georgia and the Caucasus, Turkey and Cyprus and the Cape Verde Islands. The distribution reflects current national boundaries.
Although the bryophyte and fern sections of the book vary slightly in their presentation, reflecting their separate authorship, every effort has been made to standardize them where practicable. The literature references, combining those to bryophytes and ferns, have also been brought right up to date, and the Glossary contains many additional entries. Publications dealing with rare and threatened species are highlighted.
In a single volume, this work provides users with the means of making at least a preliminary identification of any bryophyte or fern which they might encounter in Europe or Macaronesia.