Observation 21276: Allocetraria oakesiana (Tuck.) Randlane & Thell

Locality: about 5 km N Clingman’s Dome, and just a few meters E of the TN-NC border

Habitat: spruce-fir forest on a wet montane ridge

Characterization: foliose lichen with
(1) yellow-green thallus
(2) relatively smooth, broadly rounded lobes (compared, for instance, to the “torn edges” aspect of Platismatia)
(3) ascending, crenulate or crisped lobe margins
(4) prominent marginal soredia
(5) some specimens with reddish brown marginal apothecia having lobulate margins

Identification: This lichen seems to belong to a cluster of genera containing Ahtiana, Allocetraria, Tuckermanopsis, and Vulpicida viridis. In the time of Dey (1978), all these genera and Melanelia as well, were contained in a more broadly inclusive genus “Cetraria.” In Dey’s key to this more broadly understood genus “Cetraria,” the present lichen keys out immediately to C. oakesiana (=Allocetraria oakesiana) using only the fact that the thallus is yellow-green and sorediate. It gave me pause that Brodo et al. (2001) say that apothecia are rare in Allocetraria oakesiana, but Dey describes two forms of oakesiana, one “usually abundantly apotheciate” and the other “rarely fertile,” and reports that both are common and widespread at higher elevations of the southern Appalachians, and can occur right next to one another on the same substrate (Dey, 1978, p.46).

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:06:20 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Spruce-Fir Nature Trail, Great Smoky Mountains NP, North Carolina, USA’ to ‘Spruce-Fir Nature Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, USA

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Used references: Dey, 1978, pp.45-47; Brodo et al., 2001, pp.156-158

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Add Comment
apothecia and soredia
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2009-05-24 14:20:25 CDT (-0500)

Neat! There aren’t many lichens that regularly do both at the same time. (We were just talking about how weird that was last night, in fact!)

Created: 2009-05-24 10:16:04 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2010-08-13 23:08:25 CDT (-0500)
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