Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lichens at Priestpoint Park

Spent about an hour walking around the trails at Priestpoint, keeping an eye out for lichens, and came back with about eight different samples, plus an unlichenized ascomycete.

Afterwards I spent some time identifying what I had found.  Tentatively, I seem to have picked up:
Peltigera membranacea or neopolydactyla.  I'm sure it's one or the other, but I haven't looked at enough of these things to tell the difference.  The ID hinges on distinguishing between tomentose veins and rhizines, and the degree to which the veins protrude from the underside.  Maybe with time I'll be able to figure it out.

Cladonia carneola.  This one I'm a little more sure of.  Dentate cups (the margins of the cups appear toothed) and brown apothecia.  The specimen I took (was growing on the back of a park bench) had only one, incredibly tiny apothecia, which I at first took for a parasitic lichenicolous fungi because it resembles a small white stemmed, brown capped mushroom.  However, McCune and Geiser have a wonderful picture in their book.  Perhaps spring quarter I'll be able to properly identify this specimen with spot tests.
Lichenomphalia umbellifera.  This was surprising. As I walked the pathway down Ellis Cove I passed a huge rotting log with what appeared to me to be very pale yellow Xeromphalina -type fungi growing prolifically.  The color made them stand out and I made a collection.  I'm very glad I took some substrate too!  Looking through Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, I noticed an entry for Lichenomphalia, and it turns out to be one of the few Basidiomycetous lichens!  Also turns out to be fairly common, but still.  The clincher for me, aside from the coloration, decurrent, wide gills and crenate cap margin, was the deep, slimy green substrate from which the fruitbody grew from.  Sure enough, the small pieces of wood I grabbed along with the 'mushrooms' was coated in a dark green slime.  Maybe under the microscope I'll be able to distinguish some of the thallus characteristics.  

Not a lichen but still an ascomycete, I believe I found Pseudoplectania vogesiaca or one of its look-alikes.  I started noticing this fungus a few days ago when I was walking around campus searching for EEON plots I may be working with in the spring.  It was the only fungus aside from Trametes versicolorFomitopsis pinicola and the random Mycena, that I noticed.  When I saw it today I decided to take a couple and figure it out.  

Still have about four more specimens to go through.  Possible Hypogymnia, Cladonia, Usnea and Ramalina or Bryoria.    

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