Browsing by Subject "LECANORALES"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-5 of 5
  • Kaasalainen, Ulla; Kukwa, Martin; Rikkinen, Jouko; Schmidt, Alexander R. (2019)
    Lichens, symbiotic consortia of lichen-forming fungi and their photosynthetic partners have long had an extremely poor fossil record. However, recently over 150 new lichens were identified from European Paleogene amber and here we analyse crustose lichens from the new material. Three fossil lichens belong to the extant genus Ochrolechia (Ochrolechiaceae, Lecanoromycetes) and one fossil has conidiomata similar to those produced by modern fungi of the order Arthoniales (Arthoniomycetes). Intriguingly, two fossil Ochrolechia specimens host lichenicolous fungi of the genus Lichenostigma (Lichenostigmatales, Arthoniomycetes). This confirms that both Ochrolechia and Lichenostigma already diversified in the Paleogene and demonstrates that also the specific association between the fungi had evolved by then. The new fossils provide a minimum age constraint for both genera at 34 million years (uppermost Eocene).
  • Kettunen, Elina Johanna; Schmidt, Alexander; Diederich, Paul; Grabenhorst, Heinrich; Rikkinen, Jouko (2018)
    A diversity of filamentous microfungi was discovered from thallus surfaces of epiphytic lichens preserved in Bitterfeld and Baltic amber. We report seven distinct morphologies of dematiaceous hyphomycetes, some of which closely resemble species of the extant genera Sporidesmium, Taeniolella s. lat. and Taeniolina. Both the placement of the fungi on their substrates and the exquisite preservation of delicate structures indicate that the fungi were fully developed before they were engulfed by fresh resin. The lichens probably grew on the trunks of resin producing trees and became embedded in resin flows together with their fungal associates. The findings demonstrate that a wide range of presumably specialised fungi have lived on living and decomposing lichen thalli at least since the Paleogene. The findings add an interesting new component to the as yet poorly known mycota of the ancient European amber forests.
  • Kaasalainen, Ulla Susanna; Rikkinen, Jouko Kalevi; Schmidt, Alexander (2020)
    Fruticose lichens of the genus Usnea Dill. ex Adans. (Parmeliaceae), generally known as beard lichens, are among the most iconic epiphytic lichens in modern forest ecosystems. Many of the c. 350 currently recognized species are widely distributed and have been used as bioindicators in air pollution studies. Here we demonstrate that usneoid lichens were present in the Palaeogene amber forests of Europe. Based on general morphology and annular cortical fragmentation, one fossil from Baltic amber can be assigned to the extant genus Usnea. The unique type of cortical cracking indirectly demonstrates the presence of a central cord that keeps the branch intact even when its cortex is split into vertebrae-like segments. This evolutionary innovation has remained unchanged since the Palaeogene, contributing to the considerable ecological flexibility that allows Usnea species to flourish in a wide variety of ecosystems and climate regimes. The fossil sets the minimum age for Usnea to 34 million years (late Eocene). While the other similar fossils from Baltic and Bitterfeld ambers cannot be definitely assigned to the same genus, they underline the diversity of pendant lichens in Palaeogene amber forests.
  • Kantelinen, Annina; Hyvärinen, Marko; Kirika, Paul; Myllys, Leena (2021)
    The genus Micarea was studied for the first time in the Taita Hills, Kenya. Based on new collections and existing data, we reconstructed a phylogeny using ITS, mtSSU and Mcm7 regions, and generated a total of 27 new sequences. Data were analyzed using maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony methods. Based mainly on new collections, we discovered four undescribed well-supported lineages, characterized by molecular and phenotypic features. These lineages are described here as Micarea pumila, M. stellaris, M. taitensis and M. versicolor. Micarea pumila is characterized by a minutely granular thallus, small cream-white or pale brownish apothecia, small ascospores and the production of prasinic acid. Micarea stellaris has a warted-areolate thallus, cream-white apothecia usually darker at the centre, a hymenium of light grey or brownish pigment that dissolves in K, and intense crystalline granules that appear as a belt-like continuum across the lower hymenium when studied in polarized light. Micarea taitensis is characterized by a warted-areolate thallus and cream-white or yellowish apothecia that sometimes produce the Sedifolia-grey pigment. Micarea versicolor is characterized by a warted-areolate, sometimes partly granular thallus and apothecia varying from cream-white to light grey to blackish in colour. This considerable variation in the coloration of its apothecia is caused by an occasional mixture of the Sedifolia-grey pigment in the epihymenium and another purplish brown pigment in the hymenium. Micarea stellaris, M. taitensis and M. versicolor produce methoxymicareic acid. The main distinguishing characters are presented in a species synopsis. Three of the new species are nested in the M. prasina group, and the fourth one (M. taitensis) resolves as a basal taxon to the M. prasina group. The new species inhabit montane cloud forests, which have fragmented dramatically throughout the Eastern Arc Mountains in recent decades.
  • Pino-Bodas, Raquel; Ahti, Teuvo; Stenroos, Soili (2020)
    This study was focused on two species of lichen-forming fungi from Madagascan Region whose taxonomy has been controversial over the years, Cladonia mascarena Nyl. and Heterodea madagascarea Nyl. While some authors considered C. mascarena to belong to Cladonia, others place it in Pycnothelia Dufour. In this study three loci (ITS rDNA, rpb2 and ef1 alpha) were used to determine the phylogenetic placement of C. mascarena. Our results show that it belongs to Pycnothelia and the combination Py cnothelia mascarena (Nyl.) Nyl. is substantiated. In addition, a key to the genus Pycnothelia is provided. The morphological study of new specimens of Gymnoderma coccocarpurn Nyl. and H. madagascarea concluded that these taxa belong to a same species, confirming the extension of Gymnoderma Nyl. to Africa. The overlooked genus Baeoderma Vain. is regarded as a synonym of Gymnoderma, and its type species Baeoderma madagascareum (Nyl.) Vain. is referred to G. coccocarpum.