Observation 267373: Usnea filipendula Stirton (Site ID) (Usnea dasopoga)

Code: Bot_1031/2017_DSC6723

Habitat: alpine forest, Picea abies, Fagus sylvatica, Larix decidua dominant trees, almost flat terrain, calcareous ground, in shade, partly protected from direct rain by tree canopies, average precipitations ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature 8-10 deg C,
elevation 1.660 m (5.450 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.

Substratum: Dead branch of Larix decidua.

Place: Lower Trenta valley, above Na Skali settlement, next to the trail from Planina V Plazeh to Mt. Čisti vrh, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC

Comment: Thallus pendant, approximately 30 cm long, completely dry (after more than one month of dry weather, temperatures below 0 deg C); many lichens present.
The species was once abundant in mountain forests. However, it is very sensitive to air pollution and is hence in strong decline in many places in Europe where it is considered endangered and (mostly) protected. Plants with apothecia became rare. At higher elevations in Trenta valley this lichen is still quite common and apothecia are still abundant. However, even here some damages due to pollution can be observed (brown dots on apothecia surface – see arrows on Fig. 11).This lichen has been historically used to treat wounds and modern tests for antibacterial properties have been positive. The lichen contains antibiotic usnin-acid, which is nowadays synthetically produced.

Nikon D700 / Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8/


Proposed Names

92% (2)
Used references: (1) I.M. Brodo, S.D. Sharnoff, S.Sharnoff, Lichens of North America, Yale Uni. Press (2001), p 718.
(2) F.S. Dobson, Lichens, The Richmonds Publishing Ca.LTD (2005), p 443.
(3) B. Marbach, C. Kainz, Moose, Farne und Flechten, BLV Naturfürer (2002), p 78.
(4) C.W. Smith, et all, The lichens of Great Britain and Ireland, The British Lichen Society (2009), p 923.
(5) V. Wirth, Die Flechten Baden-Württembergs, Teil.2., Ulmer (1995), p 947.

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Add Comment
A great observation and nice series of photos.
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-01-16 21:46:26 CET (+0100)
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2017-01-16 19:07:07 CET (+0100)

I’ve never seen this species with apothecia. I had no idea that this was a much more common state pre-industrial revolution.