Four new Micarea species from the montane cloud forests of Taita Hills, Kenya

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Kantelinen , A , Hyvärinen , M , Kirika , P & Myllys , L 2021 , ' Four new Micarea species from the montane cloud forests of Taita Hills, Kenya ' , Lichenologist , vol. 53 , no. 1 , pp. 81-94 . https://doi.org/10.1017/S0024282920000511

Title: Four new Micarea species from the montane cloud forests of Taita Hills, Kenya
Author: Kantelinen, Annina; Hyvärinen, Marko; Kirika, Paul; Myllys, Leena
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Botany
University of Helsinki, Botany
University of Helsinki, Botany
Date: 2021-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Lichenologist
ISSN: 0024-2829
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/329202
Abstract: 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.
Subject: ASCOMYCOTA
EAST
Eastern Arc Mountains
GENUS
LECANORALES
LICHEN-FORMING FUNGI
OSTROPALES
PHYLOGENY
PRASINA GROUP
RECORDS
TANZANIA
biodiversity hotspot
endemism
lichens
molecular phylogenetics
taxonomy
11831 Plant biology
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