Instytut Botaniki im. W. Szafera Polskiej Akademii Nauk - W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The only comprehensive catalogue of the mosses of Poland was published exactly aquarter of a century ago by Ochyra & Szmajda (1978). It comprised 651 species and 133 varieties disposed in 178 genera and 47 families. This catalogue served as a basis for a list of the moss species which were to be mapped in Poland. It was published, with some slight modifications, in the first fascicle of the serial publication "Atlas of the geographical distribution of spore-plants in Poland. Series V. Mosses (Musci)" and comprised 661 species (Ochyra & Szmajda 1983a). In 1992 this list was again augmented with an additional 16 species which had either been newly discovered in the country or reinstated from oblivion as a result of taxonomic studies (Ochyra et al. 1992a). Thus, it has been generally accepted that the moss flora of Poland consisted of 677 species.
In the past two decades there has been remarkable progress in taxonomic, nomenclatural and phytogeographical studies and many changes relating to the European moss flora have been published. Therefore the increasing interest in floristic and ecological studies of Polish mosses, aimed especially at preservation of their biodiversity, has stimulated work on a revised and updated catalogue of these plants. Since the publication of the last catalogue of Polish mosses, a number of species have been added and some should be deleted from the flora. Because the relevant data have been widely scattered in the literature and not always easily accessible, we do feel that it is appropriate to publish a revised list at the present time, especially because much reconsideration of generic and familial limits is taking place.
Thus, the present work is an attempt to meet the long felt need for a standard work on the nomenclature and distribution of Polish mosses. The publication of the catalogue is also justified by the fact that modern checklists or catalogues of mosses are in practice available for almost all adjacent countries in Central Europe, including Germany (Duell & Meinunger 1989; Duell 1994a, b; Koperski et al. 2000), Austria (Grims 1999), the Czech Republic (Vaňa 1997, 1998; Kučera & Vaňa 2003), Slovakia (Kubinská & Janovicová 1996, 1998), Romania (Mohan 1998), the Ukraine (Virchenko 2000, 2001), Lithuania (Jukoniené 2002), Estonia (Ingerpuu et al. 1994), Sweden (Söderström et al. 1992; Söderström & Hedenäs 1994), and Norway (Frisvoll et al. 1995). In addition, a checklist of the mosses of the former Soviet Union has been published (Ignatov & Afonina 1992), and a somewhat older but still very useful catalogue of Finnish mosses is available (Koponen et al. 1977). It is worth mentioning that modern checklists of mosses are available for most Western and Southern European countries, including the British Isles (Blockeel & Long 1998), Holland (Dirkse et al. 1999), Luxembourg (Werner 1993), Belgium (Sotiaux & Venderpoorten 2001), Spain (Casas 1991), Italy (Cortini Pedrotti 2001), Bułgaria (Ganeva &Duell 1999), the former Yugoslavia (Pavletic et al. 1999), the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) (Sabovljević & Stevanović 1999), and Greece (Duell 1995). Finally, a checklist for the whole of Europe was compiled more than two decades ago (Corley et al. 1982) which was subsequently updated (Corley & Crundwell 1991).
The present catalogue contains 700 species, eight subspecies and 87 varieties, placed in 207 genera, belonging to 55 families. Forms are not included, although in some species critical taxonomic studies have confirmed their validity and usefulness. In contrast to the former treatment of Polish mosses, we have relegated many varieties to synonymy as we believe a good many of them are mere habitat modifications which do not merit taxonomic recognition or for which suitable studies confirming their status are not available. Also, exotic species which have incidentally been introduced in greenhouses (Rusinska et al. 1996; Galera & Ratynska 1999) have been ignored.
With a few exceptions, we studied the voucher collections upon which the Polish records of the taxa concerned are based. Special attention has been paid to locate old records made by German bryologists such as J. Milde, K. G. Limpricht, H. von Klinggraff, C. Warnstorf and F. Koppe in the Sudetes, Silesia, West Pomerania and East Prussia. Locating these specimens was not always an easy task since they are scattered in various herbaria throughout Europe, but certainly the bryological herbaria in the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest (BP) and in the Natural History Museum of Wrocław University (WRSL) are the prime sources of collections of K. G. Limpricht and J. Milde. Also, the herbaria at B, HAL, JE, POZG, TOR, STU, S and W are important for tracing many voucher collections. These specimens are mostly revised for another major bryological project in Poland, namely "Atlas of the geographical distribution of mosses in Poland", which was started in the early 1980s (Ochyra & Szmajda 1981, 1982) and of which by 1994 nine fascicles had been published. After a ten year break this project has nów been resurrected and subseąuent fascicles are under preparation.The intent of the present catalogue is multifaceted. Of greatest urgency is the provision for the user of a listing of genera and species, including subspecies and varieties, of the moss taxa which have ever been reported from Poland. A list of all the synonyms which have ever been used in the botanical literature relating to mosses in the present territory of Poland and excluded taxa also appear in the catalogue. The next goal is to provide the cor-rect orthography and author citation for all taxa recognized in the work and to present their systematic arrangement following the modern standards of moss classification. Finally, for the first time, the Polish nomenclature of mosses has been reviewed and set in order. Accordingly, the present catalogue consists of ten sections and subsections and most of them begin with explanatory remarks. Therefore some important issues are not discussed in this introduction but can be found in appropriate places in the text. The catalogue differs markedly from similar treatments in having especially strongly developed taxonomic and nomenclatural parts. Although it is often stated that floras and checklists are not good places to introduce new classifications and/or taxonomic and nomenclatural novelties, we decided to depart from this convention and to present here a number of new taxonomic and classificational concepts. During our years of work on mosses we have accumulated many and various observations relating to the taxonomy and nomenclature of European mosses, a good number of which for a variety reasons have never been published or are presented in large treatments awaiting publication. Because it is uncertain when they will eventually be published, we thought that it might be of wider interest to mąke them available to the bryological community nów, since in many cases errors which have persisted in the literature are herewith corrected. Ali new concepts are extensively discussed and appropriately referenced in the "Annotations" section. Detailed presentation of particular issues is omitted from this introduction, these being fully discussed at the beginning of each section.