Holystone Woods – Lichen

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Holystone wood is noted for its lichen flora. The SSSI mentions a luxuriant community of epiphytic lichen including Bryoria and Usnea subfloridana.  Many species are present which are associated with ancient woodland: Mycoblastus sanguineus, Thelotrema lepadinum and Pertusaria spp. The large oak shown above was a haven for Bryoria lichen. The tree in top left is covered in Usnea, Bryoria and Ramalina sp.

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A close up the fruiticose Bryoria fuscescens on the large oak reveals its dark smoky-brown colours, and pendant, hair like filaments. It grows on acid barked trees.

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Chrysothrix candelaris a leprose lichen formed a bright yellow/green splash on an oak tree.

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Thelotrema lepadinum is another lichen with a Western and Northern distribution.  The name  lepadinum refers its limpet like appearance though it is also commonly known as the barnacle lichen.

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This crustose lichen growing near the Thelotrema is Pertusaria pertusa. The same Beech tree also hosted P amara (a bitter tasting lichen) and P hymenea. Pertusaria corallina was abundant on rocks and walls.

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Arthonia radiata has crowded black starry apothecia. Itis often found on smooth barked trees like Ash.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Mycoblastus sanguineus is a crustose lichen found on hard sandstone rocks. Could this be a specimen?

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This crustose lichen, thickly covered in apothecia, looks like Lecanora gangaloides although I did not scratch it to reveal the orange colour underneath. Its lookalike Tephromela atra flourished further along the same wall.

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Many species of crustose rock lichen such as Lecidea lithophila pictured above were abundant on the stones.  Frequently red coloured from the deposition of iron oxides,  L lithophila is common in the upland North and West.

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It was surprising that so many of the lichen were fruiting, like this Lecanora rupicola above.

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The apothecia shown above on this fruiting Parmelia saxatilis have orange-brown discs and isidiate margins.

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Cladonia (cup lichen) also featured on this wall. The example above is the two pronged, Cladonia furcata.

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Cladonia polydactyla seems to be ubiquitous in upland Northumberland. It has scarlet red fruits on its many fingers. The lichen with the thicker stalks is C sulphurina.

Reference:

Lichens – Frank Dobson, BLS, 2018.

http://www.lichens.lastdragon.org/indexP.html

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