Collection location: Lower Trenta Valley, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia [Click for map]
Dat.: Jan. 13. 2018
Picture file names: Melanelixia-subaurifera_raw_3 and Melanelixia-subaurifera_raw_4.
Dat.: Jan. 28. 2018
Picture file names: Melanelixia-subaurifera_raw_6.
Dat.: March 27. 2018
Picture file names: from Melanelixia-subaurifera_raw_7 to Melanelixia-subaurifera_raw_10 and Melanelixia-subaurifera_raw_5.
Dat.: April 8. 2018
Picture file names: from Melanelixia-subaurifera_raw_1 to Melanelixia-subaurifera_raw_2.
Habitat: abandoned pastures with scattered trees; moderately inclined mountain slope, south-east aspect; relatively warm and dry place; colluvial, calcareous ground, sunny place; exposed to direct rain; average precipitations ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature 7-9 deg C, elevations 600 m (1.950 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.
Substratum: bark of small branches and twigs of a stand-alone, recently cut down Juglans regia.
Place: Lower Trenta valley, right bank of river Soča; between villages Soča and Trenta; near Trenta 2b cottage, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC.
Comment: Melanelixia subaurifera is a rather small, only a few cm in diameter, adpressed, thin, matt and brown lichen. When dry and growing on brown, rough tree bark it requires some attention to be spotted. When damp, after rain, it becomes olive green and shinier and hence quite conspicuous. It is a widely distributed all over the world and on many places a common lichen.
Habitus of the find seems quite convincing for Melanelixia subaurifera. Optional similar species Melanelixia subargentifera was abandoned because I was able to find neither tiny cortical hairs toward lobe margins and ends (Ref.1) nor purine on the thallus (Ref.5). The lichens were not found on tree’s trunk or at the base of it (Ref.2), but rather on small twigs, which doesn’t match to Melanelixia subargentifera. However, Melanelixia can be easily confused also with brown species of Xanthoparmelia species. Morphological differences are small, however, chemistry is different. My determination is not completely reliable because no chemical tests have been done.
Naming of this species is also to some extent questionable. Index Fungorum keeps the name Melanelixia subaurifera as a synonym of ‘current name’ Melanelia subaurifera, while MycoBank claims the opposite. It seems to me that recent references mostly follow MycoBank.
Lichens of this observation were photographed in damp state. Many specimens were found on this tree.
Nikon D700 / Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8
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Created: 2018-05-22 09:14:52 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2018-05-22 09:15:02 EDT (-0400)
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