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Collins's Introduction to the First Fascicle
The present state of our knowledge of the Algae of North America is very unsatisfactory and this is especially true of our knowledge of the species inhabiting the fresh waters. The questions as to identity of our species with those of Europe and elsewhere, the questions of specific limitations, and those of geographical distribution, while fairly well settled for many marine species, are still open for many others, and are hardly touched as yet for the inland species. lt seemed best therefore, when we began to cooperate in studying our New England Algae a few years ago, to try and put our results into accessible form by distributing the specimens themselves. To this end, collections have been accumulating for about four years, and great care has been taken that each set should be made up of as uniform and characteristic individuals of the species as could be obtained.
In general, each contributor is responsible for the name of the species contributed by him, but the management will also do everything that lies in its power to see that the determinations represent the best knowledge possible at the time of issuing. Many fresh-water species, especially, must needs be issued under provisional names, awaiting the attention of proper monographers. The nomenclature used in these fascicles will be readily understood by glancing at the different labels. The management has not undertaken to investigate questions of priority. lt hopes to be able to affix to each species a name readily understood, following, in each case, the latest reliable monographs known to it. To facilitate reference, American synonyms which are beyond doubt, have been inserted under many species. Other questions are left to the special students of particular groups.
The success of a work of this character depends largely on the co-operation
of botanical workers; and the management returns its thanks for the very encouraging
reception that has been given the undertaking, both in America and abroad.
The names of the persons contributing material for this first fascicle will be found
on the title page; in addition to this, special acknowledgment must be made to
Prof. W.G. Farlow, Dr. Edouard Bornet, and M. Maurice Gomont, for their valuable aid in matters of identification, etc.
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