Observation 165520: Lichen P. Micheli
When: 2014-04-26
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Photographed on rock, most likely sandstone this time, not limestone. The area it was on has lots of exposed sandstone. No sample was collected.

Proposed Names

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Specialization
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-19 15:08:59 NZST (+1200)

Not good for either plants or biologists. ;)

you have to know everything these days
By: Tim Martin (T Martin2010)
2014-05-19 15:00:07 NZST (+1200)

…interesting, in that I read an article recently lamenting the decline of the naturalist, with so many biologists becoming super specialized, not only with little feel for the environment of the organism, but sometimes the entire organism.

Anyway. Wow, talk about your micro environments. Fascinating.

I recently got a book on Alabama geology with a particular focus on paleontology. The author didn’t talk about lichen – at least not that I can see on flipping through it – but did discuss plants and how they are influenced by the bedrock substrates that they grow on. Some plants are very specialized indeed. One species of flower only grows on rock overhangs of a certain rock formation…can you say endangered?

Me too!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-19 13:49:30 NZST (+1200)

Too funny. Yes, lichens are what’s driven me to start learning geology, too. :)

And there’s further complication: sandstone directly below a limestone layer will be just as enriched and grow the same flora as the limestone (plus or minus). And there are other interesting aberrant effects: once I found a limestone species growing on some weird white encrustation on an overhanging basalt boulder hundreds of miles from the nearest limestone. The white stuff was HCl+, maybe guano or something like that? And another time I found a bunch of weak calciphiles on a basalt cliff that was simply down canyon from a limestone region several miles away. Apparently the dust blowing down canyon was enough to weakly enrich the otherwise fairly neutral basalt.

Fun stuff, right?

I bet geologists could learn a thing or two from lichens, too. :)

sandstone, limestone…
By: Tim Martin (T Martin2010)
2014-05-19 12:02:25 NZST (+1200)

There is a chance that this is limestone. I had photographed a few neat rock formations and sent them to “Ask a Geologist,” a site that definitely says what it does and does what it says. Anyway, he, the geologist that replied, said the ones I sent him shots of were sandstone for sure. Of course, doesn’t mean THIS one was sandstone but I think it very likely. The only other thing was that the formation, the Hartselle Formation, includes bands of shale and limestone, so it is entirely possible this lichen found a band of limestone.

Never would have thought I would learn geology from lichens…

sandstone, limestone…
By: Tim Martin (T Martin2010)
2014-05-19 12:02:25 NZST (+1200)

There is a chance that this is limestone. I had photographed a few neat rock formations and sent them to “Ask a Geologist,” a site that definitely says what it does and does what it says. Anyway, he, the geologist that replied, said the ones I sent him shots of were sandstone for sure. Of course, doesn’t mean THIS one was sandstone but I think it very likely. The only other thing was that the formation, the Hartselle Formation, includes bands of shale and limestone, so it is entirely possible this lichen found a band of limestone.

Never would have thought I would learn geology from lichens…

The thing to do
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-19 11:18:30 NZST (+1200)

is keep an eye out for a collectible specimen, then we can ID that, and retroactively put names on these photo-only observations. This looks distinctive, I’m just drawing a blank. If it were on a tree, I would go with Loxospora pustulata (= Variolaria pustulata) in a heartbeat. I just can’t remember what it would be on sandstone…

What I thought
By: Tim Martin (T Martin2010)
2014-05-19 11:10:51 NZST (+1200)

I almost didn’t post it as I didn’t see much to work with. I couldn’t collect a sample and it is on a pretty remote section of the park. If I can I will try to revisit it, though that area of the park can get pretty overgrown after mid spring.

Tough one
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-19 11:03:04 NZST (+1200)

There’s not enough resolution on the photos to tell what kind of diaspores are present. It looks kind of like pustules dissolving into schizidia, but I can’t think of what it would be. Maybe it’s isidiate instead, in which case maybe Ochrolechia yasudae. Alas, doing K and C tests would tell us a lot, too, but these aren’t easy to collect. Might not be able to do anything with these photos. :(

Created: 2014-05-19 09:56:39 NZST (+1200)
Last modified: 2014-05-19 09:56:54 NZST (+1200)
Viewed: 18 times, last viewed: 2015-08-06 09:25:59 NZST (+1200)
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