The mycological legacy of Elias Magnus Fries

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The taxonomic concepts which originated with or were accepted by Elias Magnus Fries were presented during his lifetime in the printed word, illustrative depiction, and in collections of dried specimens. This body of work was welcomed by the mycological and botanical communities of his time: students and associates aided Fries and after his passing carried forward his taxonomic ideas. His legacy spawned a line of Swedish and Danish mycologists intent on perpetuating the Fries tradition: Hampus von Post, Lars Romell, Seth Lundell and John Axel Nannfeldt in Sweden; Emil Rostrup, Severin Petersen and Jakob Lange in Denmark. Volumes of color paintings and several exsiccati, most notably one edited by Lundell and Nannfeldt attached fungal portraits and preserved specimens (and often photographs) to Fries names. The result is a massive resource from which to harvest the name-concept relationship with clarity. In the 20th century, nomenclatural commissions legislated Fries's Systema and Elenchus as the "starting point" for names of most fungi, giving these books special recognition. The present paper attempts to trace Fries's legacy from his lifetime to the recent past.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIMA Fungus
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)99-114
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Biography, Fungi, Systema mycologicum, Taxonomy, Uppsala

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