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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Biocrusts of Northern Arizona National Monuments, Post 1

Preface: I was looking through some old files the other day, and ran across a report I had written on an old research project. The goal of the research was to model the potential abundance of biocrusts in Wupatki, Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon, Montezuma's Castle (and Well), and Tuzigoot National Monuments in Northern Arizona. The first three are near Flagstaff on the Southern Colorado Plateau. The others are in the Verde River watershed which has more Sonoran Desert vegetation elements.

I never published this, because frankly, the models just were not very exciting. I completely forgot that as peripheral matter, I created species lists, keys, and verbal descriptions and photos of the biocrusts in these National Monuments. It seems a shame for them to just be in a report which only a few people have, so I have decided to share them here in a series of posts. Here's a key to biocrust lichens in the area. (Please note that the Sedona area was not part of sampling and that many more biocrust species would be found there).

Field-based key to common Biocrust lichens of National Monuments in the southern Colorado Plateau and Colorado Plateau-Sonoran Desert ecotone

1a) Thallus crustose, subfoliose, foliose, fruticose or gelatinous...................2

2a) Thallus erect-fruticose, tan to olive green, with white dots (pseudocyphellae) ……………………………………………………………………….Aspicilia hispida
2b) Thallus crustose, subfoliose, foliose or gelatinous, various colors ………..…….3

3a) Thallus foliose, large (usually > 5cm dia.), gray to grayish brown or brown, with felt-like texture on upper surface, commonly with large red apothecia at margins ………………………………………………....Peltigera rufesence
3b) Thallus crustose or gelatinous ………………………………………..….…4

4a) Thallus some shade of yellow or orange ..................................5

5a) Thallus crustose with distinctly lobate margins; lemon yellow usually with some white showing underneath (rarely all white); often with 1mm dia. rust colored apothecia ………....................................Fulgensia desertorum
5b) Thallus inconspicuous, but densely covered with orange apothecia ………….Caloplaca jungermanii

4b) Thallus colored otherwise ........................................................6

6a) Thallus crustose, white to beige, usually with dark gray to black apothecia……….……Diploschistes muscorum
6b) Thallus gelatinous; usually black but occasionally dark green or brownish, apothecia often lacking ........................7       

7a) Thallus clearly standing up from substrate, thallus margins appear fringed due to finger-shaped isidia ………………………………..Leptogium sp.
7b) Usually very well covered in isidia (look like black balls); colony often forms a small hemispherical mound; if not isidiate, may be somewhat erect (standing up from substrate) ..............................................Collema coccophorum
7c) May or may not be isidiate, lobes of thallus margins usually visible and somewhat swollen; colony tends to form a flat, adnate rosette; marginal thallus lobes may curl up slightly but are generally adnate to soil .....................................Collema tenax

1b) Thallus squamulose ....................................................................................................8

8a) Thallus consisting of gray-green basal squamules, and sometimes erect columns (podetia), found at middle to upper elevations ………………….….....9

9a) Podetia narrow and trumpet shaped …………...….Cladonia fimbriata
9b) Podetia lack cup at top, finger shaped, may have brown apothecia near top of podetia ……. ………………………………….….Cladonia cariosa

8b) Squamules not gray-green, podetia always lacking, various
elevations…………………………………………………………………...…..10

10a) Squamules some shade of brown, tan, or drab olive green ………..11

11a) Squamules drab olive, tan, or chocolate brown, mostly ~1mm dia.; if present fruiting bodies are apothecia .................................12

12a) Squamules olive or tan, if present apothecia are red  …………………………………………………………....13

13a) Flat squamules, mostly round or oval; often dimpled with a slightly darker rim; red apothecia uncommon in the center of the squamule …….................................................Peltula patellata
13b) Undulating small to large squamules (0.5 - > 1 cm), often with lobate margins; large red apothecia (sometimes more than one) usually found in center of squamule ………….Heppia conchiloba

12b) Convex, crowded squamules, chocolate brown, rim not differently colored, black hemispherical apothecia very common ……………………………….….Psora globifera

11b) Squamules mostly > 1mm, cream to light brown to almost black;
perithecia or apothecia may be present (but are not red)......................13

13a) Squamules white-rimmed, convex dark apothecia (~ 1mm dia.) on squamules often observed ................................................14

14a) Squamules chocolate brown, regular and imbricate like ascending shingles ………………...Psora himalayana
14b) Squamules light to chocolate brown, less regular….. ………………………………………...Psora tuckermannii

13b) Squamules not white-rimmed (some taxa may have some sparse pruina around edges though), if present ascocarps are perithecia .......................................................................................15

15a) Squamules solitary or sparsely scattered with an irregular
 margin; Several perithecia always evident as upraised black
 dots with a hole in the middle ...............Endocarpon pusillum
15b) Squamules usually several, sometimes crowded or overlapping, margins regular to lobate; if present, perithecia are difficult to see without a hand lens .............Placidium spp.

10b) Squamules not brown; Apothecia may be present...............................16

16a) Squamules pink to brick red with a white margin; apothecia
marginal and convex ......................................................Psora decipiens
16b) Squamules not pink or red, pruinose on most of upper surface ..17

17a) Squamules light green, entire or lobate, tan apotecia with white rim usually present (most common on rocks but occasionally on soil)…………………………………………..Lecanora muralis
17b) Squamules not as above …………………………………...18

18a) Small squamules (< 2 mm) green to gray with blue-gray pruina, strongly convex without white margins; apothecia black, borne between squamules …........Toninia sedifolia
18b) Large squamules (>2mm), white due to dense pruina……………………………....19

19a) Large squamules, not strongly lobate with downturned margins, small hemispherical apothecia green to black, born between squamules, forming hemispherical brain-like colonies; especially common on calcareous soils ............Psora cerebriformis
19b) Very large squamules (up to 2 cm), not lobate with conspicuous depression in center on squamule, small balck apothecia borne on rim of squamule ……………………………………….Psora crenata
                                                                       



1 comment:

  1. yes...the formatting came out weird (@#$%^&!!!)

    Will fix when I have time

    ReplyDelete