NS3383 : A lichen - Ramalina calicaris

taken 10 years ago, near to Daligan, Argyll And Bute, Great Britain

A lichen - Ramalina calicaris
A lichen - Ramalina calicaris
Not all lichens are indicators of good air quality (for example, the species Lecanora conizaeoides, "the Pollution Lichen", is common in areas of high sulphur dioxide pollution, and often becomes rare in an area when the air quality improves; for more on lichens and pollution, see the "Ramalina fastigiata" link at the end of this item).

However, the species shown here is one of those that are particularly sensitive to such pollution. For a view, in context, of the tree on which it was growing, see NS3383 : Forest track on Bannachra Muir.

F.S.Dobson's "Lichens An Illustrated Guide to the British and Irish Species" states that it is "a declining species", but that it is found "on well-lit to lightly-shaded, nutrient rich, rather basic bark such as willow, especially near the coast". As the context photograph (link given above) shows, the broad-leaved tree on which it was growing was located in a drainage ditch on the northern side of a track through forestry land, and is therefore well-lit. Dust from the track is likely to reduce the acidity of the bark.

The sides of the long, narrow branches are turned up to form a single channel; abundant spore-producing discs (apothecia) are also visible in this view. As in this case, these discs are often located at sharp bends in the branches of the lichen.

As the "Lichen Flora of Great Britain and Ireland" (Purvis et al) notes, atypical specimens can be confused with Ramalina fraxinea or R. fastigiata. However, the specimen in this photograph shows the distinctive features very clearly, with the edges of the branches upturned to form a single channel. The work just cited notes that "the overall tough texture of the thallus and the channelling of the main branches, especially towards their bases, are diagnostic".

This species has a mainly western, coastal distribution.

For other Ramalina species, see NS3778 : A lichen - Ramalina fastigiata.
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NS3383, 13 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 30 April, 2010   (more nearby)
Thursday, 6 May, 2010
Geographical Context
Woodland, Forest 
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Closeup  Life 
Lichens and mosses   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3385 8346 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:0.9106N 4:40.0164W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3385 8346
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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