Observation 21288: Xanthoparmelia (Vain.) Hale

Locality: at a road cut near Clingman’s Dome, a few meters E of the TN-NC border

Substrate and Habitat: ancient metamorphosed sedimentary rock pushed up during the Appalachian orogeny and exposed at a road cut near the top of Clingman’s Dome; surrounding vegetation is spruce-fir forest on a wet montane ridge

(summarizing from Dey (1978), Hinds and Hinds (2007), and the two checklists of lichens in the park)

There are only three species of Xanthoparmelia in GSMNP
(but several other species of Xanthoparmelia occur elsewhere at higher and lower elevations in the southern Appalachians, and Arctoparmelia incurva occurs on Grandfather Mountain in northwestern NC)

Xanthoparmelia conspersa
isidiate; apothecia rare; lower cortex black, brown only at the margins; common at higher and lower elevations

Xanthoparmelia plittii
isidiate; apothecia common; lower cortex tan or brown; rare at higher elevations, common at lower elevations

Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia
nonisidiate; apothecia common; lower cortex tan or brown; widespread but not common at higher elevations, common at lower elevations

In general, chemistry is important in identifying Xanthoparmelias, but as it turns out, all three of these species contain stictic and norstictic acids, so the medullas of all three will test K+ yellow changing to orange or reddish orange (not blood red)

[admin – Sat Aug 14 01:59:30 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Clingman’s Dome, Great Smoky Mountains NP, North Carolina, USA’ to ’Clingman’s Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, USA’

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good thought
By: Chris Parrish (kitparrish)
2009-05-24 20:46:13 EDT (-0400)

I hope to get back to this area in a few days, and had in mind to check the color of the thallus undersides and perhaps do a spot test or two. That’s a good idea to be alert to the possibility of more than one species in that bunch.

might have two species here?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2009-05-24 17:52:47 EDT (-0400)

The third photo looks a bit different — the way the lobes overlap more and the outline is more uneven? Do you have samples for spot tests and close examination of the isidia? Trevor Goward tells me that you can mist it with an atomizer, let it soak that up for a few minutes, then — with infinite patience! — you should be able to pry it loose one lobe at a time with a very thin knife. Easier said than done in my practice. :)

Created: 2009-05-24 17:01:49 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2010-08-14 00:17:08 EDT (-0400)
Viewed: 411 times, last viewed: 2018-05-12 06:41:43 EDT (-0400)
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