Crustose Lichen Workshop at the Edge of Appalachia
In April of this year, the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History hosted a workshop on the biology and identification of crustose lichens at the Eulett Center in Adams County. The workshop was taught by Dr. James Lendemer from The New York Botanical Garden. The workshop was attended by 12 people, including 4 members of the OMLA. James did an excellent job of detailing the biology of lichens in general and crustose lichens in particular. He also demonstrated the techniques used in the identification of this difficult group.
In the course of preparing for the workshop, James visited some of the Edge of Appalachia preserves to collect study material and also specimens for his own herbarium. The lichens collected by James are listed below.
Lichens collected in Adams County by James Lendemer, April, 2015.
* = new record for Ohio
Cladonia didyma var. vulcanica
Photo from The Fungi of Great Britain and Ireland.
Photo by James Lendemer.
It is quite remarkable that in the short time that he was here James collected two species new to Ohio: Cladonia floerkeana (Gritty British soldiers), and Phaeophyscia insignis (no common name). Cladonia floerkeana is a red-fruited species very similar to the common British soldiers. It differs by having a sorediate podetia, while British soldiers has no soredia. The range of Gritty British soldiers is listed as eastern US west to Ohio and north into Canada. The preferred habitat is the same as British soldiers, so careful microscopic examination is necessary to separate the two.
Phaeophyscia insignis is thought to be a rare eastern US species (Lichens of North America). It has not been previously reported from Ohio and was found as new to West Virginia by Don Flenniken. Phaeophyscia insignis is similar to several other species of this genus in having a small, gray-brown thallus with narrow lobes. The upper surface has laminal, discrete, capitate soralia, often exceeding the width of the lobes. The lower surface is tan at the margins, shading to black at the center. It can grow on both bark and rock and might be mistaken for Phaeophyscia adiastola. These are both great finds and illustrate the need to closely examine even common species for subtle differences.
(published in OBELISK, Vol. 12, p. 5-6)