Name: Lichen P. Micheli
Most Confident Observations:
Copyright © 2012 Dan Molter (shroomydan)
Copyright © 2011 Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
Copyright © 2009 Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
Copyright © 2013 Jason Hollinger (jason)
Version: 5
Previous Version 

First person to use this name on MO: John Harlan
Editors: Jason Hollinger, Tim Sage


Rank: Phylum

Status: Accepted

Name: Lichen

ICN Identifier: missing

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Author: P. Micheli

Citation: Nova plantarum genera (Florentiae): 73 (1729)

Deprecated Synonyms: Sun Baked Crust, Crustiose Lichen, Foliose Lichen, Crustose, Crustose lichens

Misspellings: Lichens, Lchen


Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Fungi

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Brief Description: [See More | Edit]

This is a “fake” taxon meant to group all lichenized fungi. Most belong in Ascomycota, but there are a few in Basidiomycota, and there are several distinct lineages even within Ascomycota due to the lichenized condition apparently evolving independently several times. (There is some debate on this matter still, as one leading lichenologist claims that all existing ascomycetes share a lichenized ancestor! (Does anyone have a citation for this?))

In general, a lichen is any fungus that grows with a green alga and/or cyanobacteria, where the relationship is obligate (at least for the fungus), and the resulting symbiosis results in a specialized thallus which neither the fungus nor the alga/cyanobacteria would produce on their own.

See the section on Terminology for an overview of lichen morphology.

Descriptions: [Create]


Add Comment
Noah said:
By: Patrick Harvey (pg_harvey)
2011-01-22 13:22:59 CST (-0600)

> Our mushroom books don’t have lichens in them …

Ah, but our lichens DO have fungi in them!

— Feral Boy

Bitter, hah.
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2010-04-09 22:46:47 CDT (-0500)

mycologists can study their subject year round, you just have to travel (though it has been 69 days since I have seen a fleshy mushroom, only 9 more days…)

Problem with the mushroom guides? no way, they are mushroom guides not lichen guides. That being said it is strange to have slime molds included in some of them.

It would be nice to live my life in blissful ignorance of lichenized fungi (okay so I occasionally look at lichens, I just don’t want to see them on mushroom sites)
So please give people like me a filter.

Hey I just noticed
By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2010-04-09 14:43:15 CDT (-0500)

this description below contains all of every thing you would get in a field guide! (or almost)Thanks Jason !

just saw this page…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-04-09 10:11:47 CDT (-0500)

and I would like to say that it is a GREAT synopsis of lichen description, ID and morphology. very useful to those of us who know next to nothing about this interesting group.
altho the fleshy fungi are my passion, I enjoy seeing the diverse lichen forms as well, esp. when more knowledgeable folks than I can actually put some names to them! and who the heck doesn’t like a weird slimemold? What the hey, life is a never ending series of TMI, just filter out what you don’t want to see…that’s what our brains and delete buttons are for!

Awww, he’s just bitter…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-04-09 09:45:55 CDT (-0500)

…because mycologists can’t study their subjects throughout the year like we can. It’s understandable. Lichen-envy.

I submit that the problem lies with your mushroom guides, Noah, not MO!

But seriously, Nathan and you are both right. I would like to give users the ability to “turn on” and “turn off” various groups of fungi. Maybe a popup menu hidden under the “Mushroom Observer” banner? I’ve more than once wanted to filter out all those pesky macrofungi, and occasionally even want to see just the slimemolds… organisms, I can’t help but point out, which are even more distantly related to your macrofungi than lichens!

“Slime Observer” anyone?

Lichens are here to stay
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2010-04-09 06:57:29 CDT (-0500)

There have been requests to not support Lichens on Mushroom Observer. However, from the Introduction: “This site takes a very broad view. While the emphasis is on the large fleshy fungi, other fungi such as lichens, rust and molds as well as fungus-like organisms such as slime-molds are all welcome.”

That said, we are looking into providing filters so users can focus on what they care about. As it turns out Jason has already gone a long way down the path of identifying which taxa he considers Lichens and enabling functionality so that he gets notified when lichen observations get entered. I expect we could adapt this work to provide the reverse filter so those who want to can look at Mushroom Observer blissfully unaware of the fascinating world of Lichens that are also getting supported by the site.

Sounds good!
By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2010-04-08 20:39:36 CDT (-0500)

I just about filled the changes page with Lichens,
how about a separate changes page for lichens

I can’t take it anymore
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2010-04-08 18:43:31 CDT (-0500)

Jason and Nathan please make a Lichen Observer and get them off MUSHROOM observer.
Our mushroom books don’t have lichens in them so why should our mushroom websites.

Number of users interested in this name: 3