Observation 21295: Cladonia caespiticia (Pers.) Flörke
When: 2009-05-07
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Identification: This attractive squamulose Cladonia resembles C. caespiticia, which is “widespread” at lower elevations in the park, and “common” at higher elevations (Dey, 1978). Cladonia caespiticia often presents nearly sessile brown apothecia, helping to confirm the identification. Cladonia petrophila is similar, but has less finely dissected squamule margins, occurs only on rocks or on thin soil over rocks, and is generally sterile. It appears on the park’s ATBI lichen checklist.

Proposed Names

30% (2)
Eye3
Used references: Hinds and Hinds, 2007, p.168
67% (3)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Lendemer, J. C., and B. P. Hodkinson. 2009. The Wisdom of Fools: new molecular and morphological insights into the North American apodetiate species of Cladonia. Opuscula Philolichenum 7: 79-100.

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Cladonia caespiticia
By: Brendan Hodkinson (brendanhod)
2009-12-07 22:11:48 CST (-0500)

James Lendemer also noticed that this ‘taxon’ closely resembled C. caespiticia (but was also not 100% sure of the identification), so he sequenced some specimens of it and we found that it came out phylogenetically right in with C. caespiticia. We have recently put together a paper in Opuscula Philolichenum working out some of the often-sterile Cladonia taxa and those that have apothecia that are sessile on the squamules (and so are often interpreted as ‘sterile’ since they do not have the typical podetia). Those who try to identify apparently-sterile Cladonia specimens are often seen as ‘fools,’ hence the title:
Lendemer, J. C., and B. P. Hodkinson. 2009. The Wisdom of Fools: new molecular and morphological insights into the North American apodetiate species of Cladonia. Opuscula Philolichenum 7: 79-100.
http://www.duke.edu/~bph8/LendemerHodkinson2009b.pdf
Chris, your notes are very good, and it’s nice that we now have some molecular data to show that these apparently-sterile Cladonia specimens that look like C. caespiticia are just that. When all is said and done, the vegetative morphology and the ecology actually seem to be quite good identifying characteristics for this group.

Created: 2009-05-25 11:20:29 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2009-05-25 11:20:29 CDT (-0400)
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