Observation 94931: Diploschistes muscorum (Scop.) R. Sant.
When: 2012-05-02
0.0° 0.0° 2364m
Herbarium specimen reported
0 Sequences


Asci. Stain: Methylene Blue. First photo at 400x, 2nd at 1000x (1unit=10um, perfectly calibrated:) Found one ascus with more than 4 spores, and alot with less than 4 spores, and a few with 4 spores.
Asci. Stain: Methylene Blue. First photo at 400x, 2nd at 1000x (1unit=10um, perfectly calibrated:) Found one ascus with more than 4 spores, and alot with less than 4 spores, and a few with 4 spores.

Proposed Names

91% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
Used references: Lichens of North America (Brodo)
Based on microscopic features: Spores 25umx12um wide, eliptical, muriform.
Based on chemical features: Thallus: C-red turning yellow, KC red turning yellow.
28% (1)
Used references: Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of western U.S. dry lands – Rosentreter et al.
Based on microscopic features: Has pruina as does D. diacapsis; and found one asci with 5 spores, still looking for more asci with more than 4 spores (what a pain to try to get a good slide mount and stain with all them silty soil particles). If this is D. diacapsis it is on the extreme edge of its northern range according to LNA (brodo) and CNALH.
Based on chemical features: Re-testing of Thallus: C+ muddy brown red; K- (just green), KC hardly pink then to brownish (mainly just green), P-

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
I can pull a theory out of my… :)
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-05-20 02:04:30 CDT (-0400)

Trevor’s theory says lichens are all about the carbon balance. (Much like plants.) It would only be black inside if it’s producing too much carbon, which — the theory goes — occurs when the alga is outproducing what the fungus can utilize. And the fungus metabolizes fastest in warmer, wetter conditions than the alga. Since it’s all white inside, “sucked dry” of carbon, maybe the fungus is oustripping the alga, instead? These moss cushions will retain moisture very well. Maybe they keep the lichen moist and warm well into the night after summer afternoon thundershowers, forcing the starving fungus to scavenge whatever it can find in the moss in those dark wee hours when photosynthesis is on ice. Would that cause the host moss to shrivel up and turn egg-shaped? Or maybe it’s something to do with dark moss cushions warming up and melting the surrounding snow in winter? Notice how rocks have melted all the snow around them under a snow pack? Liquid water means the fungus may be active, but the snow layer above will block PAR, preventing photosynthesis.

And sorry, yes, I meant the last photo, the one surrounded by the big shaggy moss. Yes, I know, I need to learn the mosses. I keep promising I will some day… I didn’t even notice the moss in the others! I’ve noticed that there are two basic forms for this group of Diploschistes (D. diacapsis, D. muscorum, and D. scruposus) — a “membranous”, thin, smoothish, “stretched-looking” form, and a grainy, verrucose, “normal-looking” form. The former is always on moss, so I have this crazy theory that maybe it’s D. muscorum. ;) I laugh, but in reality, it could just be the way that all three species respond to growing on that substrate! Who knows??? You can go mad doing this.

By: nastassja (Nastassja Noell)
2012-05-20 01:39:31 CDT (-0400)

is amazing with Diploschistes asci – such great thin cuts, perfect stains, no cracked cover slips… perfection :)

Membranous look – do you mean the last photo is the one that has a membraneous look? Or the first one thats super cute with the little moss growing out from within it?

And I just gotta ask, do you have a theory, or know of one that answers the question… why does these Diploschistes sp. have nearly all white silt on the inside? I can clearly find the nearly composted remains of moss on the inside, but I’d think they’d compost more dark, shouldn’t there be alot of carbon? And these samples I took are almost egg shaped, convex, which could be from the topography of the soil changing by frosts over time for sure, but I think the surrounding soil is darker, gotta double check, but have you noticed a similar phenomenon?

Good, I’m not the only one who finds these difficult…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-05-20 01:26:42 CDT (-0400)

The references make it sound so easy: just count the spores, right? How can you go wrong? Ha! The user from Portugal, zaca, has posted a whole bunch of extremely well-documented observations of various Diploschistes. Maybe you can gain some extra confidence by sifting through those?

(Bear in mind you could well have both here. One photo — the one clearly growing on moss — really has that almost membranous look that seems to be typical of D. muscorum. The other… beats me.)

Created: 2012-05-18 18:20:23 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-05-20 00:54:02 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 148 times, last viewed: 2017-06-13 01:14:21 CDT (-0400)
Show Log