Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Tue 30 Mar 2010 Isle of Luing
A visit to the hazelwood on Luing where Hazel Gloves was recently discovered by Luing resident Rosy Barlow. We were accompanied by lichenologist Brian Coppins, who identified all the lichens below and a great many others.
Crossing the heathery ground on the way to the woods, Brian
spotted this specimen of Icmadophila ericetorum, with its pinkish apothecia.
He also pointed out Cladonia uncialis and C furcata, lurking among the C
portentosa which is the only heath Cladonia most of us can recognise. Didn't get
usable pics of
these. The rest of the pics are in the hazelwood, which had young Pignut
and Bluebell shoots poking through the ground as the RH pic shows.
The Tree Snail sheltering beneath the lichen Degelia cyanoloma,
and the blotchy script lichen Arthonia radiata on the same Hazel.
More variations on the scripty theme - every script lichen has
its own "handwriting"! These are Opegrapha vulgata and Graphina anguina.
More crustose lichens on young hazel stems: The pinkish-fruited
Arthonia cinnabarina, and the elephant-grey Enterographa crassa, which was one I
didn't know at all. There were plenty of young shoots arising from the
hazel stools in this wood, due to the canopy not being too dense and so letting
in plenty of light. The wood was well grazed by cattle but not
over-grazed, which would have resulted in huge old hazels with little re-growth
from the base. There was a good mix of stems of all ages, which meant that
all the lichens could find new surfaces to colonise of whatever type suited
them, whenever their existing surfaces had grown unsuitable.
One that I'd recently been suspecting I was finding, but it was
good to have Brian confirm it, was the silvery Thomasiella gelatinosa. The
RH pic shows the underside of the familiar Lobaria pulmonaria, parasitised by
the fungus Tremella lobariacearum, a small dark relative of the familiar Yellow
Brain Fungus, but not known to me until Brian showed us it today.
The reason the wood is of such interest is that it contains a
healthy population of Hazel Gloves, which indicates that it's an ancient
Atlantic Hazelwood, and should also have a suite of specialist Oceanic lichens.
It turned out a bit disappointing with regard to really rare lichens, though we
found all the typical ones, and could only examine a proportion of the whole
wood. Still, the Hazel Gloves itself is reason enough to treat the wood as
quality habitat. The LH pic shows Hazel Gloves in decent condition, for
March at any rate. The RH pic shows one grazed almost back to the bark by
Finally another new lichen for me, Hypotrachyna sinuosa, found by Brian on Alder.
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer