Observation 187756: Physcia (Schreb.) Michaux
When: 2014-11-08
No herbarium specimen

Proposed Names

31% (2)
Recognized by sight: Growing on a fiberglass trail marker.
84% (1)
Eyes3
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus

Comments

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You make a good point
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-27 13:02:05 PST (-0800)

It could definitely be digesting rock. Or an alternate hypothesis is that the hyphae grow in between grains of the rock allowing the freeze-thaw cycle to break the rock up. (I have directly observed hyphae inside sandstone and cracks of granitic rock.) How to tell if the fungus is extracting nutrients while doing so??? Create an artificial rock with unusual isotopes and see if those isotopes end up in lichens which subsequently establish and grow on the articial rock?

It doesn’t sound impossible
By: Patrick Harvey (pg_harvey)
2014-11-27 12:37:13 PST (-0800)

After all, lichens grow & eventually break down rocks — granite has quartz in it (silicate). Verifying digestion of the markers would probably take an awful long time!

Crunchy fiberglass buffet, yum
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-27 12:23:16 PST (-0800)

However I think this fungus (and alga!) is just sucking up the air and water. Zaca posted something a couple weeks ago growing on glass(!) I have a real hard time believing these two specimens are deriving anything of value from the substrate (aside from physical support). Hmmm. Maybe there’s some dust accumulated, though. I suppose they do need to get access to nitrogen and other trace elements somehow…

I didn’t think anything would eat it !
By: Patrick Harvey (pg_harvey)
2014-11-27 12:00:05 PST (-0800)

Fungi are incredibly adaptable.

Might be the first report of this species from fiberglass! :)
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-27 09:48:21 PST (-0800)

Created: 2014-11-08 15:05:49 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2014-11-08 15:19:41 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 69 times, last viewed: 2015-05-27 14:00:37 PDT (-0700)
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