Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vulpicida canadensis lichen made of algae and fungi

Vulpicida canadensis grows mostly east of the Cascades so I have never seen it before.  I was excited to discover it at Hydro Cushman park.  There is actually quite a lot of it there.  This lichen is bright yellow.  Even the medulla (middle bits) of the lichen are yellow.  The yellow color of the fungal hyphea (this lichen is made of a fungus and an algae) is yellow and that makes it easier to see.  Unfortunately the lichen disintegrated when I put KOH on it.  But that made the algae easier to see. 

    http://www.sharnoffphotos.com/index.html has a lot of great lichen photos for sale.  Remember, just because it's on the Internet that does  not mean it's free!

This image is created by user Jason Hollinger (jason) at Mushroom Observer, a source for mycological images.

Algae surrounded by see through fungal hyphea (the filaments are fungal hyphea)
Cross section of lichen apothecia (basically a lichen flower) showing
spores inside of asci
Close up of ascus with spores in it
Fungal hyphea their natural color in the middle of the lichen
This is a colony of bacteria that was living in the lichen.  Scientists do not know for sure what these particular non-photosynthetic bacteria do in lichens.  Are they harmful, helpful or indifferent for the lichen?  Nearly all lichens have them.

No comments: