Lecanora hybocarpa an overlooked lichen

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Neil Sanderson
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Lecanora hybocarpa an overlooked lichen

Post by Neil Sanderson » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:31 am

Another New Rare and Interesting entry I am writing is for Lecanora hybocarpa in southern England. This appears to be an overlooked but frequent species superficially similar to Lecanora chlarotera in a difficult group (Lecanora subfusca group). These are clearer when apothecia cross sections are looked at under polarised light, when the distribution of crystals within the apothecia can be seen. All the species pictured here have very coarse large crystals in their thaline margins, which are Pd –.

The common, and very variable, Lecanora chlarotera has a layer of granular crystals right in the top layer of the apothecia above the tops of the asci and the paraphyses in the epithcium (an epipsamma). These dissolve in K and also in nitric acid, but this can be slow, have a look after 15mins.

2018-10-19-02.jpg
Lecanora chlarotera: apothecia cross section in water with polarised light, Beech trunk, Busketts Wood, New Forest.

A widespread species is Lecanora argentata, usually with a whiter thallus, very dark apothecia and more confined to older tree trunks, this lacks crystals in the epipsamma and will be unchanged in K

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Lecanora argentata: apothecia cross section in water with polarised light, Beech trunk, Busketts Wood, New Forest.

Lecanora hybocarpa is quite different in cross section, with quite coarse brown granules extending below the epithcium and into the upper part of the hymenium, below the tops of the asci. This is similar to the common Lecanora pulicaris, found on acid bark and lignum but this has a Pd + orange-red thalline margin. The dissolve in K and but not in nitric acid (not every one gets this to work, but I have seen it)

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Lecanora hybocarpa: apothecia cross section in water with polarised light, Oak twig, Matley Wood, New Forest.

Potential apothecia of Lecanora hybocarpa can be picked out in the field by having pale to mid brown disks, with a light pruinose layer on top.

2018-10-31-01.jpg

Lecanora hybocarpa left and Lecanora chlarotera right, Oak twig, Matley Wood, New Forest.

Internally the apothecia of Lecanora hybocarpa and Lecanora sinuosa are very similar, and I have found the two taxa growing to gather on a Beech trunk. There are suggestions that Lecanora sinuosa may just be a morph of Lecanora hybocarpa with the thallus dominated by apothecia initials. Also the type of Lecanora hybocarpa is American and probably not the same species as the European Lecanora hybocarpa (I. Brodo & J. Malíček, pers. com.) but this is still unclear.

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Lecanora sinuosa: thallus on Beech, distinctive thallus dominated by apothecia initials, Beech trunk, Long Beech, New Forest

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Lecanora sinuosa:apothecia section in water under polarising light, Beech trunk, Long Beech, New Forest.

Lecanora hybocarpa seems to be quite frequent in the south and east but possibly absent from the uplands. In southern England it occurs in similar habitats to Lecanora chlarotera, growing on both trunks and twigs but it is not nearly as abundant as Lecanora chlarotera. So far I have found Lecanora hybocarpa in less disturbed habitats, but that is mainly where I lichenise so, I am to sure if that is significant.
Neil Sanderson

Neil Sanderson
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Re: Lecanora hybocarpa an overlooked lichen

Post by Neil Sanderson » Wed May 29, 2019 8:56 pm

More on Lecanora hybocarpa.

I recently collected a recently dead Aspen branch from Ashurst Wood on the open New Forest and went through it at leisure. This added Caloplaca cerinella, with c 16 spores in the asci, probably common in the wider countryside but new to the open Forest.

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Caloplaca cerinella on dead Aspen branch

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Caloplaca cerinella apothecia squash showing asci with more than 8 spores.

The main interest, however, was that all the Lecanora on the branch looked at had Lecanora hybocarpa type apothecia with a Lecanora pulicaris type distribution of crystals in the both epithecium and into the upper part of the hymenium, but with a Pd – thalline margins. The forms were varied, however, some with very large crystals in the thalline margin, giving very rough margins

2019-05-14-05.jpg
Lecanora hybocarpa on Aspen branch with rough thalline margins. These rough margins are quite frequent on Lecanora species on Aspen for some reason.

Others had the thallus covered in apothecia initials, giving Lecanora sinuosa, which may just be a morph of Lecanora hybocarpa.

2019-05-14-06.jpg
Lecanora sinuosa on Aspen branch, with thallus covered by apothecia initials

As well as this I have recently being doing some planning work in ordinary south Hampshire countryside outside of the New Forest. This has given me the opportunity to sample lots of Lecanora species from twigs and hedgerow trees. Interestingly Lecanora hybocarpa proved to be widespread on the twigs, commoner than Lecanora chlarotera, which was also present. Also seen were quite a collection of Lecanora species on bark and wood: Lecanora argentata, Lecanora sinuosa, Lecanora horiza, Lecanora albella, Lecanora carpinea, Lecanora barkmaniana, Lecanora pulicaris, Lecanora conizaeoides f. conizaeoides, Lecanora symmicta, Lecanora expallens and Lecanora compallens. The latter was found fertile on some dead wood. This has only recently been found fertile, so I will put up some pictures when I have looked at it fully. There are at least two distinct morphs of Lecanora chlarotera as well: a form with pale disks and an off white thallus and smaller spores (every where, including trunks) and one with chestnut disks, a white thallus and some what larger spores (mainly branches, where it looks like Lecanora argentata, which occurs more on trunks but can occur on branches). The latter could potential be another cryptic species but this would need DNA sequencing to ascertain (Pictured with Lecanora hybocarpa, on an Oak twig, Matley Wood, New Forest in my first post).

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Lecanora hybocarpa from Oak twig in hedgerow in farmland, the faintly pruinose disk is a good lead for likely Lecanora hybocarpa specimens.

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Lecanora hybocarpa from Oak twig apothecia cross section in water in normal light

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Lecanora hybocarpa from Oak twig apothecia cross section in water in polarised light

Finally I am just back from a job in North Wales, where I also did some Lecanora species sampling. Only Lecanora chlarotera and Lecanora argentata here, so it may be that Lecanora hybocarpa is a southern and eastern species in Britain.
Last edited by Neil Sanderson on Thu May 30, 2019 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Neil Sanderson

AlanFUSA
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Re: Lecanora hybocarpa an overlooked lichen

Post by AlanFUSA » Thu May 30, 2019 12:58 am

Neil:
You should get in touch with Christian Printzen. He has a project 'Leconomics" <https://lecanomics.org/data/index.php?lang=en> investigating taxon delimitation in Lecanora. I'm sure he'd love to sequence some of your collections.
Alan

Neil Sanderson
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Re: Lecanora hybocarpa an overlooked lichen

Post by Neil Sanderson » Fri May 31, 2019 1:17 pm

Alan

Thanks, sound very interesting, I will register.

Neil
Neil Sanderson

Neil Sanderson
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Posts: 73
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Re: Lecanora hybocarpa an overlooked lichen

Post by Neil Sanderson » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:37 am

Further progress reports on this overlooked but probably common lichen.

Knole Park, West Kent: surveyed for the National Trust. This is an ancient deer park in a warm and dry part England. Here Lecanora hybocarpa dominated on the twigs where there was also some Lecanora chlarotera, with some occurrences of Lecanora hybocarpa on trunks, along with rare Lecanora argentata on the trunks

Surveying two SSSIs in the Elan Valley, Radnor for Natural Resources Wales was an opportunity to collect Lecanora chlarotera s. lat. widely. Earlier I had not found Lecanora hybocarpa in highly oceanic woodland in west Wales (Coedydd Maentwrog NNR) where I had only found Lecanora chlarotera and Lecanora argentata. The upper Elan valley is very wet indeed but high up and is distinctly less oceanic than the western coast woods at Coedydd Maentwrog NNR. In Elan Lecanora hybocarpa was occasional on Oak twigs and Rowan trunks. Lecanora chlarotera was rare on Rowan trunks and Lecanora argentata was the most widespread species, found on both trunks and twigs.

The BLS recording meeting at Rydal, Westmoreland this month. I am still processing the results of this but have gone through my collections. This is a wet site on the edge of the Lake District but with a strong gradient from rich parkland on the low ground with some important sub-oceanic field tree species (Caloplaca herbidella s. str. and Lecanora quercicola) through to highly acidified upland pasture woodland. I got Lecanora chlarotera as three collections on trunks and twigs in the parkland. Lecanora hybocarpa was collected twice from Oak twigs and an Ash trunk in the parkland. Lecanora argentata was collected from an Oak trunk in the parkland and an Ash trunk in the upland pasture woodland. The only Lecanora seen on twigs in the upland pasture woodland was Lecanora pulicaris.

Pictures from Elan Valley:

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Lecanora hybocarpa on Rowan, in water in normal light

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Lecanora hybocarpa on Rowan, in water in polarised light

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Lecanora hybocarpa on Rowan, in water in normal light, high power
Neil Sanderson

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