Monday, February 27, 2012

Myco Monday: Cladonia diversity in minature

Six species of Cladonia reindeer lichen
This image is of a small clump of reindeer lichens (Cladonia spp.) on a log in an open spot of aspen parkland. We thought there were several kinds of lichens, but when we showed the picture to a specialist, she recognized 6 tentative species (chemical tests are needed to be certain):
Cladonia gracilis ssp turbinata – smooth cupped, no soredia, brown tips (apothecia and pycnidia), little squamules (leaf-like structures) coming off of stalks
Cladonia botrytes – pale brown apothecia, upper right hand corner
Cladonia mitis – branching species, (subgenus Cladina)
Cladonia cristalla or bellidiflora – smooth  slightly branched specimen with red apothecia
Cladonia crispata var crispata – upper right hand corner by botrytes with wide open cup, can see directly down into podetium/stalk
Cladonia coniocraea – sorediate unbranched podetia in lower part of picture

That's quite a bit of diversity for a few square centimetres of forest floor.

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