In recent years a revival in the interest for lichens has become manifest, may be inspired by their possible use as bio-indicators for air pollution. One of the symptoms for this revival is the relatively large number of lichenological textbooks published recently. Among them is the present volume the scope of which, however, is more limited than is suggested by the title. In it a number of topics of lichenology are treated which had received insufficient attention in the textbooks of Ferry et al. (“Lichens and Air Pollution”), Ahmadjian & Hale (“The Lichens”) and Brown et al. (“Lichenology, Progress and Problems”), As a consequence the text is not very coherent. The following themes are included: phenotypic modifications and taxonomy; colonization, growth, succession and competition; relations between lichens and animals: phytography of lichens in the boreal pine forests, cold and dry deserts; lichens from artificial substrates; the lichen communities; the protection of lichens in Great Britain. In two appendices a bibliography of lichen floras and a glossary are given.