Collection location: Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, Buena Vista Unit, Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]
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And that it will soon spread into the SNA where it will be protected.
Let’s hope that this is not just one last ancient remnant hanging on for dear life in a world no longer friendly to it.
Me and Jim Bennett went out there and found few more specimen. Unfortunately, after working with maps, we realized this location is just outside of the Gotham Jack Pines & Barrens State Natural Area boundaries, which makes it more challenging to preserve the location and specimen growing there.
Obviously they don’t like it too much around here. According to Thomson, it was found twice in Dane County (where I live) back in 19th century, and then re-found, again in Dane County, in 1999. This one is from Richland County, about 50 miles west from here. The 1999 find is mentioned in the article by M.Nelsen et al. in Evansia #24-4 at the location called Festge Park. I went there with Jim Bennett this spring, trying to find this lichen. But the site went though major makeover, like many sites around here being restored to an oak savanna. The problem with that – a lack of smaller trees and saplings, the ones accessible to an average human looking for a tiny lichen. It may be still in the oak crowns, but who knows? The other thing I want to mention – this lichen looks like a typical Xanthomendoza hasseana to a passerby – speck of yellow on the knobby twig. Only if you come close and zoom your eyes in, you can see that the lichen is much more “three-dimensional” than X.hasseana. I think they may be overlooked. I wasn’t even sure what I picked up when I got it – I thought it was some “mutant” X.fallax or something like that.
Historical records make it clear that it used to be much more common. Good find!