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Our floristic work in British ancient forests resulted in a description of a frequently reported but misidentified species, Coenogonium nimisii. Its thallus is very similar to Porina rosei, but the apothecia and pycnidia correspond with C. luteum. Sterile collections are not easy to distinguish but the new species differs from P. rosei in several microscopic characters of the isidia. Coenogonium nimisii is so far known from bark and epiphytic bryophytes, rarely mossy rocks, in ancient humid forests of Great Britain and Ireland. The genus Coenogonium is poorly represented by molecular data in the GenBank database. Our preliminary results revealed distinct genetic lineages within two traditionally circumscribed species, C. luteum and C. pineti, which may represent cryptic species.
Lecanora caledonica is described as new to science. Molecular analyses show that it belongs to the L. intumescens group. It is also rather similar in appearance to L. intumescens, but differs mainly chemically in containing only atranorin and an unknown UV+ ice blue substance. There are also anatomical and morphological differences to the other species of the group. The new species has a pronounced oceanic distribution and is so far known only from western Norway and Scotland.
Three species of lichenicolous Opegrapha s. lat. are newly described, all apparently host-specific at genus level. Opegrapha arthoniicola Coppins & S. Y. Kondr. is described from western Britain and Ireland, where it grows on the thallus of Arthonia radiata on Corylus bark; it has small clustered ascomata, asci that are usually 6-spored and rather small ascospores (10.5–)12.5–14.5 μm in length. Opegrapha sawyeriana Coppins occurs on the thallus of Coniocarpon cinnabarinum, also on Corylus bark, from oceanic western parts of Scotland, Ireland and southern England; in comparison to O. arthoniicola it has smaller, often scattered ascomata with a pigmented basal layer, 8-spored asci and slightly larger ascospores 13–14.5(–16) μm in length. Opegrapha hochstetteri Coppins has been found on thalli of Verrucaria hochstetteri and V. muralis on calcareous rocks and stonework in southern England and Luxembourg; collections were formerly identified as Opegrapha rupestris Pers. but it differs from this species by narrower ascomata with a persistent narrow slit, normally 6- rather than 8-spored asci and ascospores with pigmentation in the spore wall rather than the perispore. Lifted from synonymy is Opegrapha opaca Nyl., which inhabits the thallus of Verrucaria nigrescens and V. viridula on calcareous rocks and stonework, and is so far recorded from southern England, Luxembourg, France, northern Spain and Israel. The hosts of the European species of lichenicolous Opegrapha on Verrucaria s. lat. on calcareous rocks (O. hochstetteri, O. opaca and O. rupestris) belong to different phylogenetic lineages within the Verrucariaceae. A key is also provided to the lichenicolous species of Opegraphaceae currently known from Great Britain and Ireland.
An examination of collections from Japan has increased the number of Brianaria and Micarea species known from that country from eight to 19, including one new species, M. rubioides Coppins (also from Malaysia and the Philippines). Eleven species are reported as new to Japan (M. botryoides (Nyl.) Coppins, M. denigrata (Fr.) Hedl., M. erratica (Körb.) Hertel et al., M. hedlundii Coppins, M. lithinella (Nyl.) Hedl., M. micrococca (Körb.) Gams ex Coppins and M. misella (Nyl.) Hedl.) or new to Asia: M. byssacea (Th. Fr.) Czarnota et al., M. deminuta Coppins and M. xanthonica Coppins & Tønsberg (new to Asia; Japan); M. nitschkeana (J. Lahm ex Rabenh.) Harm. (new to Asia; South Korea). The presence of Micarea prasina s. str. from Japan needs to be confirmed; no collection was found in this study. Additional collections from South Korea and Sri Lanka are also reported, including the new species M. ceylanica Coppins from Sri Lanka. The identity of M. synotheoides (Nyl.) Coppins, originally described from Japan, has been resolved, resulting in the renaming of Western European material, previously under that name, as M. longispora Coppins. Micarea coreana Lőkös et al. is reported here as a synonym of M. erratica. The type of Lecidea inopinula Nyl. requires the new combination Micarea inopinula (Nyl.) Coppins & T. Sprib. to replace Micarea prasinella (Jatta) I. M. Lamb.
A new species of Synarthonia, S. leproidica, is described from Luxembourg. Phylogenetic analyses of mtSSU and RPB2 sequences were used to determine the generic affiliation of this sterile species. Synarthonia leproidica differs from all other species of the genus by the combination of a leproid thallus and the production of psoromic acid. It is the sister species to S. muriformis in our phylogenetic analyses. The discovery of the new species suggests that other strictly sorediate lichen species might have been overlooked in Europe, even in intensely explored countries such as Luxembourg. Phylogenetic analyses further confirm the placement of Reichlingia anombrophila in the genus Reichlingia and of Synarthonia astroidestera in the genus Synarthonia. Arthonia atlantica is transferred to the genus Reichlingia as R. dendritica.
Thirty-five species of Micarea are recorded for Tasmania. Ten are described as new to science: M. ceracea Coppins & Kantvilas (also known from Victoria and New South Wales), characterized by a thallus containing perlatolic and didymic acids, pallid apothecia and 3(–4)-septate ascospores, 10–21 × 3·5–6 µm; M. cinereopallida Coppins & Kantvilas (also known from Chile), with a granular to coralloid, goniocyst-like thallus containing superlatolic acid, pallid to piebald apothecia and (0–)1-septate ascospores, 8–15 × 2·5–5 µm; M. micromelaena Kantvilas & Coppins, similar to the widespread M. melaena but with markedly smaller, 0–1-septate ascospores, 8–12·5 × 2·5–4 µm; M. oreina Kantvilas & Coppins, characterized by a thallus of globose areoles containing gyrophoric acid, black, subglobose apothecia, and 1-septate ascospores, 11–16·5 × 4·5–6·5 µm; M. pallida Coppins & Kantvilas, similar to M. ceracea but distinguished by the presence of porphyrilic acid and relatively small, 3-septate ascospores, 9·5–15 × 2·5–4 µm; M. prasinastra Coppins & Kantvilas (also known from New Zealand), a member of the M. prasina group with a finely granular-sorediose thallus containing gyrophoric acid, unpigmented apothecia and (0–)1-septate ascospores, 7–11·5 × 1·8–3·5 µm; M. rubiginosa Coppins & Kantvilas (also known from Chile), likewise allied to M. prasina but with apothecia containing Rubella-orange pigment and ascospores 0–1-septate, 9·5–17 × 3·5–5·5 µm; M. sandyana Kantvilas, related to M. ternaria (Nyl.) Vĕzda but differing by smaller ascospores, 7–13·5 × 3·5–6 µm; M. saxicola Coppins & Kantvilas, characterized by a relatively thick, grey-brown, areolate thallus, convex, black apothecia and 0(–1)-septate ascospores, 7–18 × 4·5–7 µm; and M. tubaeformis Coppins & Kantvilas, related to M. flagellispora and with filiform ascospores, 45–100 × 1–2 µm, but differing by containing 2′-O-methylperlatolic acid and having funnel-shaped pycnidia. Ten species of Micarea are reported for Tasmania for the first time: M. almbornii Coppins, M. argopsinosa P. M. McCarthy & Elix, M. byssacea (Th. Fr.) Czarnota et al., M. contexta Hedl., M. farinosa Coppins & Aptroot, M. humilis P. M. McCarthy & Elix, M. incrassata Hedl., M. myriocarpa V. Wirth & Vězda ex Coppins, M. nowakii Czarnota & Coppins and M. pseudocoppinsii Brand et al. Also recorded for the first time for Victoria are M. alabastrites (Nyl.) Coppins and M. cinerea (Schaer.) Hedl. A key to Micarea-like lichens in Tasmania, which includes Micarea itself as well as Brianaria, Psilolechia and Leimonis, is presented. Leimonis erratica (Körb.) R. C. Harris & Lendemer and Brianaria tuberculata (Sommerf.) S. Ekman & M. Svensson are recorded for Tasmania for the first time.
Opegrapha multipuncta and Schismatomma quercicola are two sterile European lichens reproducing only vegetatively by means of soredia. RAxML and Bayesian analyses of newly generated sequence data from the mitochondrial ribosomal RNA small subunit provide clear evidence that these two species do not belong to the Arthoniomycetes, but to the Lecanoromycetes. In our phylogenetic analyses, O. multipuncta is nested in the genus Porina (Porinaceae) as sister to P. austroatlantica, while S. quercicola is nested in the genus Schizotrema (Graphidaceae) as sister to S. zebrinum. The following new combinations are introduced: Porina multipuncta (Coppins & P. James) Ertz, Coppins & Frisch and Schizotrema quercicola (Coppins & P. James) Ertz, Frisch & Sanderson. Schizotrema quercicola represents the first record of the genus Schizotrema for Europe and the first sorediate member in this genus. The species is newly recorded from Norway. The lichenicolous habit of Arthonia invadens is confirmed.
Enterographa sorediata is a corticolous, crustose lichen endemic to the southern part of Great Britain where it is confined to old-growth woodlands. This lichen is rarely fertile and mainly characterized by a sorediate thallus producing protocetraric acid. However, phylogenetic analyses using nuLSU, RPB2 and nuITS sequences suggest that E. sorediata belongs to the genus Syncesia and is conspecific with S. myrticola. This is corroborated by the chemistry and the recent observation of a thallus with both fully developed S. myrticola-like apothecia and soralia. This provides further evidence of the difficulties involved in correctly placing sorediate sterile morphs of crustose lichens into particular genera without using molecular data. An updated distribution map of S. myrticola for Great Britain and Ireland is provided, showing that the sorediate morph extends more inland whereas the fertile morph is more coastal.
Detailed morphological and anatomical studies informed by molecular inferences with mtSSU as a marker revealed two new species of Micarea in Western Europe, both belonging to the core group of the genus, namely the M. prasina group: M. herbarum from the Netherlands and Poland and M. meridionalis from Portugal and Italy. Micarea herbarum looks like a small or depauperate M. denigrata but clearly differs by the lack of gyrophoric acid, while M. meridionalis is distinguished by its granular thallus and the production of micareic acid.
Across much of lowland Britain, lichen diversity has been dramatically affected by the Industrial Revolution, including the lasting legacy of pollution, and changes in land use including the loss, intensification, or abandonment of traditional woodland management. We sampled preserved epiphytes on historical timbers in vernacular buildings to reconstruct pre-industrial lichen species occurrence for a site in Exmoor, south-west England, and used these data to quantify biodiversity loss that appears related to shifts in woodland composition. A total of 33 lichen epiphyte species were collected from pre-industrial structural timbers, and these were compared with modern lichen occurrence. Based on a direct comparison with species presence-absence in the same 10 km target grid-square, c. 31% of species recorded from the pre-industrial landscape had disappeared from the post-1960 landscape. Based on statistical inference comparing historical records with present-day biogeographical distributions, up to 38% of species could be inferred to be lost. This study presents a surprisingly high figure for these losses for a region in Britain usually recognized as having a relatively unpolluted environment and a diverse set of lichens. Of 12 species that were inferred to be lost, nine are predominantly found on nutrient-rich bark, and in our study on Ulmus, the dominant timber in the archaeological samples. We conclude that shifts in phorophyte distribution and abundance may be more important in this region than previously understood.
In the face of changing environments, conservation is tending towards an adaptive framework which accounts for the movement of species in the landscape. This makes it necessary to quantify population dynamics of species of concern. We studied the nationally scarce Cladonia botrytes, a priority Biodiversity Action Plan species in Britain, examining population dynamics at two scales: first, we studied the demography for two populations over a period of 13 years. The monitored populations declined to complete absence, starting from 77 mats on 19 stumps. Individual mats persisted maximally for up to 7 years, but over 78% of more than 290 individual cases persisted only 1 year, and more than 93% of mats disappeared within 3 years. Secondly, we performed a targeted regional survey of more than 800 stumps across an additional 27 sites in the centre of the lichen's distribution in Britain in 2006. The largest populations known from 1998 were revisited and found to no longer support the species; only 9 stumps in 5 sites supported C. botrytes in 2006. We show that C. botrytes in Britain is characterized by short individual and population persistence times, probably locally dependent upon vegetative succession including overgrowth and shading, and the degree of stump decay. The species' transient nature poses a particular challenge to conservation, though we identify comparable systems from which lessons may be learned.
The new taxa Cliostomum subtenerum, Dactylospora suburceolata, Fuscidea oceanica, Lecania granulata, Lecidea herteliana, and Ropalospora lugubris f. sorediata are described from collections made from Scotland and Wales. Outside the British Isles, D. suburceolata is also known from Switzerland, L. herteliana from NE North America and R. lugubris f. sorediata from Sweden and NE North America. In addition, Lecidea luteoatra Nyl. belongs to the Lecanora marginata group and the name Lecanora viridiatra (Stenh.) Nyl. is taken up for this species, Peterjamesia sorediata is transferred to Roccellographa, and Ropalospora atroumbrina is included in the synonymy of R. lugubris f. sorediata.
Lecania chlorotiza and L. falcata, described here as new from Spain/Navarra, the Canary Islands and the Azores, do not belong to Lecania s. str. They belong to a strongly supported clade comprising Bacidia, Bacidina, Scutula and Toninia when examined with maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inferences using mtSSU, nuLSU and nuITS sequences. This clade represents the Bacidiaceae and is included in the Ramalinaceae s. lat. Most genera included in that family need further work before a new genus can possibly be described for Lecania chlorotiza and L. falcata.
This paper presents a study to partition the role of three regional-scale drivers – woodland extent and continuity, pollution regime, and climatic setting – in explaining the composition and richness of lichen epiphytes in Scotland. To do this we used partial canonical correspondence analysis and multiple least squares regression, to examine lichen communities across 170 study sites. First, our results demonstrate the importance of climate in explaining species composition. This highlights the relatively clean-air environment of Scotland within a European setting, and emphasizes the important consideration of regional context in the development of bioclimatic species-response models. This result contrasts with a previous similar study which collapsed complex environmental data into summary gradients, and which therefore discounted climate as a key factor. Second, we show a functional decoupling between composition and species richness, which was optimally explained by old-growth woodland extent and pollution, and only weakly explained by climate. The difference in explanatory variables between composition and richness is a focal issue in determining the processes by which species compositional change, driven by rapid and deep climate change, may indirectly impact species richness. For example, this impact may occur through an imbalance in rates of species extinction (for sensitive range-edge species) and establishment in a fragmented landscape (for dispersal-limited colonists), though operating against the ‘stabilizing effect’ of microclimatic setting.
Ameliella Fryday & Coppins gen. nov. is proposed to accommodate two inconspicuous, undescribed species, A. andreaeicola and A. grisea, collected from high altitude in the Scottish Highlands. Outside the Scottish Highlands, Ameliella andreaeicola is known from single collections from Norway and Canada, and A. grisea from a single collection from Norway. The new genus appears to have some affinity with Miriquidica.
The preparation of the new edition of The Lichen Flora of the British Isles necessitates the publication of several taxonomic and nomenclatural novelties. The following new species are described: Anisomeridium robustum (Monoblastiaceae), Antennulariella lichenisata (Antennulariellaceae), Fellhanera duplex (Pilocarpaceae), Gyalideopsis crenulata (Gomphillaceae), Micarea farinosa (Pilocarpaceae) and Xerotrema quercicola (Odontotremataceae). Antennulariella lichenisata is the first lichenized member of the order Capnodiales to be described. The following new combinations are proposed: Bacidia squamellosa, Catillaria lobariicola, Collemopsidium arenisedum, C. argilospilum, C. caesium, C. chlorococcum, C. monense, C. subarenisedum, Miriquidica pycnocarpa f. sorediata, Pyrenocarpon thelostomum, Topeliopsis azorica, and Verrucaria nigrescens f. tectorum.