Carroll William Dodge (1895-1988)
No investigation of the lichen biota of the artcic/subantarctic is complete without a consideration of the work of C.W. Dodge
In a series of publications from 1938-1973 Dodge described around 350 new taxa (including several new genera) and made around 150 new combination, all from other peoples collections, from the Arctic and “sub-Antarctic” (Dodge & Baker 1938, Dodge 1948, Dodge & Rudolph 1955, Dodge 1962, 1965a, 1965b, 1965c, 1966a, 1966b, 1968a, 1968b, 1970, 1973). Almborn (1974), in his review of Dodge’s Antarctic Lichen Flora (Dodge 1973), quoted another eminent Swedish lichenologist “This author has caused untold damage to taxonomic lichenology. His publications unfortunately cannot be simple ignored. Future serious lichenologists will have to spend much time and trouble in evaluating and identifying all his mainly useless taxa.” Hertel (1988) estimated that ca. 80% of the species created by Dodge would turnout to be synonyms, and this has been born out by subsequent investigation. Castello & Nimis (1995) investigated the type material in FH of 152 of the 186 species described by Dodge and his co-workers from the Antarctic continent and accepted only 31 (ca. 20%) as valid. They describe Dodge’s type material as “some … were just fragments of unrecognizable sterile crusts, the same species was described several times under widely different generic names, the original descriptions do not comply with the characters of the types, the characters given for some species are a mixture of characters of different lichens growing together on the type collection”. As an example, he described the common bi-polar species Physcia caesia as new 12 time in five different genera, and Xanthoria elegans eight times in five different genera.
There is no reason to expect that a greater proportion of the species Dodge described from the Subpolar Region are ‘good’ species than those he described from the Antarctic. Indeed, this is confirmed by the few types of species Dodge described from the Subpolar Region that I have seen (e.g., Bacidia maquariensis is an indeterminate sterile crust, Rhizocarpon candidum is a sterile Pertusaria sp., etc.), and the observation by Galloway (2004) that four of the five new species described by Dodge from the Snares Islands (Fineran 1969) are synonyms of previously described species, and the one that was genuinely new (Solenopsora sordida) was described in the unrelated genus Haematomma.
Unfortunately, Dodge's names are all validly published. Many can be reduced to synonymy with previously described species, but for those for which the type is missing or indeterminate, it will be necessary to either designate a neotype or formally reject the name. In an attempt to clear up the mess created by Dodge, a spreadsheet of all his southern high latitude names is included here with the correct identity of the taxon where these are known. Please e-mail me any additions/corrections so that they can be included in the spreadsheet.