Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Tue 20 Nov 2007 Ganavan
More lichens of Atlantic Hazelwoods. This one is Pannaria rubiginosa. The large grey rosettes with flowerpot-coloured apothecia crowded in the centre are reminiscent of Degelia plumbea, but the Pannaria lacks the concentric rings towards the edges, and has intricately lobed margins, while its apothecia have raised rims. The small turquoise lobes belong to the epiphytic lichen Normandina pulchella, which was growing on all the foliose lichens on this branch of the tree, and also on the mosses, but not on the smooth crustose lichens.
This one is Nephroma laevigatum, which has young lobes of its own growing from much of its surface, as well as those of the Normandina which can be seen particularly in the bottom left corner. The apothecia are a bit like those of Peltigera, being flowerpot-coloured and held on upright lobe-ends, but are on the underside of the lobes in this species. The lichen has attractive two-tone edges, as shown in the RH pic, where the brown-grey of the older parts becomes a slaty blue-grey near the margins.
Now a couple of new ones from the acid-barked Birch community, which on the whole seems to have lighter-coloured lichens with a green algal component giving the characteristic glaucous or grey-green tinge to the upper surface. On less acid bark such as Hazel you get more lichens that are dark coloured by virtue of having a cyanobacterium as their algal component. The Birch lichens shown here are Parmotrema crinitum, notable for its long black marginal cilia, and Flavoparmelia caperata, which forms large circular patches with a wrinkled surface and granular outgrowths. This is part of a patch that was 20 cm across. The two species were growing together and apparently competing for space.
This Cladonia was on the same Birch as those two. It formed extensive mats of very frilly squamules, with no podetia anywhere, though very close examination revealed occasional minute podetia-like "stalks", max length 1.5 mm, brown at the tip or with brown dots round the rim. The upper end of these stalks seemed decorticate and the lower half was surrounded by granules. I haven't identified it yet - it may just be macilenta or coniocraea with the normal podetia lacking, but I'm hoping it's something like caespiticia or parasitica; there are problems with these though.
The tree also boasted the Birch Polypore, as Birches often do; the RH pic shows the patterning on the cap of this fungus caused, presumably, by grazing slugs.
It seemed an odd place to find the gracefully macabre Candlesnuff Fungus: amongst grass, moss and bracken instead of on dead wood as normal. But a bit of rooting around revealed a piece of old gorse stem just below the surface.
About 15-20 Tufted Duck were on the cemetery loch nearby.
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer