Biology of Lichens - Symbiosis, Ecology, Environmental Monitoring, Systematics and Cyber Applications

Selected papers related in part to the IAL 6 Symposium, Asilomar, California 2008

Ed.: Thomas Nash III; Linda Geiser; Bruce McCune; Dagmar Triebel; Alexandru M. Tomescu; William Sanders

2010. VI, 256 pages, 81 figures, 19 tables, 14x23cm, 500 g
Language: English

(Bibliotheca Lichenologica, Band 105)

ISBN 978-3-443-58084-1, paperback, price: 79.00 €

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lichen systematics air quality lichenicolous fungi air pollution lichen ecology soil crust symbiosis


Synopsys top ↑

Lichens dominate ca. 8% of the world's terrestrial ecosystems and play important ecological roles in many other ecosystems, such as foliicolous lichens in the tropics that provide a model system for studying the development of their symbiotic relationship in the fi eld. In any discussion of symbiosis, the lichenized fungi play a prominent role. Not only is a lichen a combination of fungus and alga(e) and/or a cyanobacterium, but also hosts specifi c bacteria and potentially other lichenicolous fungi.

Accordingly, this volume of Bibliotheca Lichenologica opens with a modern review of symbiosis and closes with a paper on the selectivity of the photobiont. The possible origin of the symbiosis from a paleoecological perspective is also considered. The ecological role of lichens in the widely distributed, arid soil crusts, as well as several specifi c aspects of their community ecology, are also discussed in other chapters.

For nearly two centuries lichens have been used in environmental monitoring, especially in relation to air pollution, new aspects of such monitoring relative to cumene hydroperoxide, Hg, NH3, O3, and various organopollutants are covered in separate chapters. Several systematic papers dealing with the Parmeliaceae and lichenicolous fungi are also presented.

Cyber applications are now providing a wealth of information from literature records back to the 1500s to vastly improved identifi cation tools, to access to millions of collection records, and to integrating biodiversity networks.

Review: International Lichenological Newsletter 43 (2) top ↑

The most recent addition to Bibliotheca Lichenologica is a volume of 26 papers on a wide range of lichen studies most of them presented at the 6th Symposium of the International Association for Lichenology (IAL6) at Asilomar, California in 2008. The great variety of topics might be explained best by citing the subgroups into which the papers are arranged, giving the numbers of papers in every group in brackets: Together and separate: the lives of the lichen symbionts (2), Lichenicolous Fungi: taxonomy and diversity (2), Integrated Data Networks in Lichenology (4), Air Pollution and Public Health (7), Lichen Community Structure and Dynamics (4), Oldest Lichens and Bryophytes (2), The World under Your Feet: biological soil crusts (2), Mexican Parmeliaceae Systematics (2) and Selectivity in the Lichen Symbiosis (1).

Four new species are described in the papers on lichenicolous fungi and on Mexican Parmeliaceae, one in each paper, namely Stigmidium californicum K. Knudsen & Kocourk., Dacampia lecaniae Kocourk. & K. Knudsen, Canoparmelia tamaulipensis T. H. Nash & R. E. Pérez and Melanohalea mexicana Essl. & R. Pérez. Unfortunately the name of the author R. E. Pérez Pérez is given with different initials to those cited above.

It is of course difficult and very subjective to select papers for special treatment in such a review, but I found the two papers on oldest lichens and bryophytes especially informative in relation to new ideas and attempts to settle the question raised by the title. Tomescu and co-workers paper on Simulating fossilization to resolve the taxonomic affinities of thalloid fossils in Early Silurian (ca. 425 Ma) terrestrial assemblages gives some insight into experimental archaeology or palaeontology. Fossils from the Appalachian Basin show clear patterns of plant and fungal growth, but they are altered too much to name them satisfactorily. Therefore they simulated fossilization under high pressures and heath with recent lichens, bryophytes, algal crusts etc. and compared the resulting structures with the fossils. By this it was found that structures of recent lichens changed into the direction of the structures of the fossils, giving further evidence that lichens might be involved in fossilized structures older than those known from any vascular land plants. The second paper in the section entitled Was the origin of the lichen symbiosis triggered by declining atmospheric carbon dioxide levels? by D.W. Schwartzman raised the question as to whether lichenization was forced by algae growing on fungal mats because of higher CO2 concentrations resulting from fungal respiration. This hypothesis is supported to some extent from experimental studies by various authors that refixation of photorespired carbon dioxide is likely in lichens. The problem needs certainly further studies, some suggested by the author, but nevertheless is an interesting aspect of the evolution of lichens.

The book is certainly a need for lichenological libraries, but might be a bit too heterogeneous to attract many private buyers.

The Editor

International Lichenological Newsletter 43 (2), page 14

Review: Acta Botanica Hungarica 53 (3-4), 2011 top ↑

The volume consists of papers selected mostly from topics presented during the IAL6 Symposium, Asilomar, California in 2008. The 26 papers included cover a wide range of research fields under 9 chapters. Just as the symposium was organised together with bryologists, the paper on thalloid fossils has bryological aspects, too. The origin and life history of the symbiotic relationship forming lichens is treated in a short review. In separate papers special attention is paid to lichenicolous fungi and bacteria living together with lichens. The selectivity of a frequent photobiont partner (Trebouxia spp.) is studied in Ramalina farinacea.

Various projects (more recent or with considerable tradition) based on internet applications are presented, e.g. the EU project KeyToNature for producing and distributing interactive keys, the German project LIAS on biodiversity information system (herbarium data, keys), the project SYMBIOTA for American herbarium data and producing virtual flora and the database “Recent literature on lichens”, which contains today more than 40,000 bibliographic records (and new services) due to the contributions of W. L. Culberson, R. S. Egan, Th. L. Esslinger, P. Scholz, H. Sipman and E. Timdal and which has been available on the World-Wide-Web as a free service since 1997.

The largest chapter is “Air pollution and public health”. After a ca 150 years history of acidic pollution (mostly due to sulphur dioxide originating from traditional heating), nitrogen- containing air pollutants (ammonia, nitric oxide) are in the focus of bioindication studies now. Occurrence and concentration of heavy metals, ozone and organic compounds are also studied by the help of lichens. Parmelia sulcata, Ramalina farinacea, R. menziesii, Usnea filipendula, Xanthoparmelia spp. and some others are among the investigated species. The effects of global changes in environmental variables are investigated at community level, using multivariate statistical analysis. Communities of biological soil crusts are studied for their fungi and also for their relation to various environmental factors and for seasonal variation on their photosynthetic activity.

Systematics of lichens is represented only by two papers in this volume, by two genera of Parmeliaceae from Mexico: Canoparmelia and Melanohalea. The following species of lichens and lichenicolous fungi are described slightly hidden among the several papers on various other topics: Canoparmelia tamaulipensis T. H. Nash et R. E. Pérez, Dacampia lecaniae Kocourk. et K. Knudsen, Melanohalea mexicana Essl. et R. Pérez and Stigmidium californicum K. Knudsen et Kocourk.

A large number of publications related to presentations of IAL6 has been published elsewhere. Nevertheless this volume summarises well the topics occurred as lectures or posters in Asilomar, and in this way it outlines the main streams of lichenology up to 2008.


Acta Botanica Hungarica 53 (3-4), 2011, p. 446

bespr.: Herzogia 24 (2), 2011 top ↑

Mit Band 105 dieser Reihe wurde erneut ein Sammelband von insgesamt 26 Einzelbeiträgen vorgelegt, von denen die meisten eine Auswahl von Vorträgen darstellen, die zum 6. IAL-Symposium in Asilomar in Kalifornien im Jahre 2008 gehalten wurden.

Unterteilt in einzelne Rubriken werden ganz unterschiedliche und ziemlich heterogene Themenkomplexe behandelt beginnend mit der Rubrik „ Together and separate: The lives of the lichen symbionts“ mit 2 Beiträgen zum Leben der Flechtensymbionten, deren Strategie zunächst einzeln, dann der Prozess der Lichenisierung und somit der gesamte Lebenszyklus betrachtet wird (Sanders). Im 2. Beitrag wird über den Fortschritt bei der Kultur foliicoler Flechten auf Überzügen und der erstaunlich kurzen Zeit von weniger als 65 Tagen, die Gyalectidium-Arten bis zum Erreichen der asexuellen Reife benötigen, berichtet. Im Kapitel „Lichenicolous Fungi: Taxonomy and Diversity“ werden in 2 Beiträgen von Kocourková & Knudsen eine neue Stigmidium-Art von einer rindenbewohnenden Caloplaca aus Süd- Kalifornien sowie eine neue Dacampia-Art von Lecania fuscella beschrieben.

Dem Themenkomplex „Integrated Data Networks in Lichenology“ sind 4 Beiträge gewidmet. Randlande et al. berichten über das EU-Projekt ‚KeyToNature‘, eine Computer-gestütztes interaktives Instrument zur Bestimmung von Organismen, incl. Flechten. Es wird gezeigt, dass im Gegensatz zu gedruckten Bestimmungsschlüsseln eine Vielzahl anderer Quellen wie Archive, Bilder u. ä. eingebunden werden können. Und in dem digitalen Schlüssel ist nicht nur das Bild bzw. die Seite des Bestimmungsergebnisses verlinkt, sondern auch die aller Zwischenstufen des Bestimmungsprozesses. Die weiteren Beiträge berichten über web-Service und die weitere Entwicklung der wohl allen bekannten Datenbank „Recent literature on lichens“ (Timdal), die in München laufenden Programme LIAS und Diversity Workbench (Triebel et al.) und das Netzwerk SYMBIOTA (Nash III et al.), mit dessen Hilfe die Kollektionen zahlreicher nordamerikanischer Herbarien in einer virtuellen Flechtenflora dargestellt werden können, wobei die beispiellose Integration taxonomischer Informationen es erlaubt, die Ausgabe nutzerspezifisch anzupassen vom professionellen Taxonomen bis zum Unterricht in Schulen.

Das umfangreichste Kapitel mit 7 Beiträgen beschäftigt sich mit „Air Pollution and Public Health“. Hier soll nicht auf einzelne Beiträge eingegangen werden. Es zeigt sich, das SO2 in den Untersuchungen keine Rolle mehr spielt, stattdessen wird die Wirkung von NO, NH3, Ozon, Quecksilber und halbflüchtigen organischen Verbindungen auf Flechten untersucht, und ein Beitrag beschäftigt sich sogar mit seltenen Erdelementen.

Im Kapitel „Lichen Community Structure and Dynamics“ sind 4 Beiträge zusammengefasst, u. a. mit dem Thema, wie die Intensität der Landnutzung in einem mediterranen Ökosystem die Diversität von Flechten beeinflusst, die empfindlich auf zunehmende Verödung bzw. Wüstenausbreitung reagieren. Aber auch die Modellierung der Ökologie von Flechtengesellschaften ausgehend von ihrem Photobiontentyp in Beziehung zur Sonneneinstrahlung und der in unmittelbarer Umgebung stattfindenden Landnutzung ist ein interessanter Ansatz. Die Reaktion von 16 kleinblättrigen Flechtenarten auf Landschaftsform, Lichtregime und Luftverschmutzung wurde in einer Langzeitstudie in den USA untersucht, wobei sich zeigte, dass die einzelnen Arten recht unterschiedlich auf Umweltfaktoren und deren Änderungen während der Untersuchungszeit reagierten.

Im Kapitel „Oldest Lichens and Byophytes“ gibt es 2 Beiträge, von denen sich einer damit beschäftigt, ob die stattgefundene Flechtensymbiose durch sinkende CO2-Gehalte in der Atmosphäre vor sehr langer Zeit (1 Billion Jahre) ausgelöst wurde; und es werden Vorschläge unterbreitet, wie man diese Annahme durch Experimente überprüfen kann.

„The world under Your Feet: Biological Soil Crusts“ titelt das nächste Kapitel mit ebenfalls 2 Beiträgen, von denen sich einer mit den pilzlichen Komponenten biologischer Bodenkrusten, der andere mit mikroklimatischen Faktoren und photosynthetischer Aktivität von Krustenflechten der semiariden südöstlichen Region Spaniens, insbesondere mit Langzeitmessungen an Diploschistes diacapsis, beschäftigt.

Im Kapitel „Mexican Parmeliaceae Systematics“ wird in einem Beitrag die Gattung Canoparmelia in Mexico inklusive eines Schlüssels und ausführlicher Beschreibungen der 13 Arten vorgestellt. Der 2. Artikel widmet sich der Gattung Melanohalea in Mexico. Unter anderem wird auch eine neue endemische Art beschrieben. Etwas irritierend ist hier, dass im Schlüssel 2 Arten noch unter Melanelia aufgeführt sind, in der Beschreibung dann aber als Melanohalea geführt werden. Das Gleiche gilt für den Umstand, dass die Autorin Rosa Emilia Pérez Pérez, die an beiden Artikeln beteiligt ist, im Inhaltsverzeichnis beide Male mit den Initialen „R. L.“ geschrieben wurde.

Ein Beitrag in der Rubrik „Selectivity in the Lichen Symbiosis“ über südeuropäische Populationen von Ramalina farinacea, die in einem Thallus mit 2 unterschiedlichen Trebouxia- Arten leben, beschließt diesen Band.

Alles in allem eine Zusammenstellung von durchaus interessanten Beiträgen und Untersuchungsergebnissen, die jedoch thematisch sehr breit gefächert sind, so dass es schwer fällt, den Band vorrangig einer bestimmten Interessengruppe von Lichenologen zu empfehlen.

Regine Stordeur (Halle/S.)

Herzogia 24 (2), 2011, p. 393-394

Review: Inoculum 63 (3), June 2012 top ↑

Bibliotheca Lichenologica is a series including several monographs of lichens within various taxonomic groups or from cryptogamically unexplored geographic regions. To date, the series comprises 107 volumes, the earliest of which date back to the mid-1980s. Biology of Lichens – Symbiosis, Ecology, Environmental Monitoring, Systematics and Cyber Applications (Volume 105) includes selected papers related to the International Association for Lichenology (IAL) 6 symposium held in Asilomar, California in 2008. The first IAL symposium, held at the University of Münster in 1986, was published in Volume 25 of Bibliotheca Lichenologica, and IAL 3 and IAL 4 were published in Volumes 68 and 82, respectively. Proceedings for IAL 2 were published in Cryptogamic Botany, while Folia Cryptogamica Estonia contained several contributions from IAL 5.

Biology of Lichens – Symbiosis, Ecology, Environmental Monitoring, Systematics and Cyber Applications includes 26 papers compiled into 9 sections. As the title implies, the papers cover a broad spectrum of lichen topics. This volume includes: holes in the symbiosis literature; current advances in data networking as related to lichenology; recent studies using lichens to quantify air pollution; and reports of new species. The remaining third of the papers fit roughly into the Ecology placeholder specified in the book subtitle, yet have little true topical overlap.

As paper and poster presentations from an international symposium, each of the studies offers novel research, which contributes to the field of lichenology as a whole. The greatest original strength of this compilation, however, is the section on data networking. Significant progress has been made in the past two decades to query the volumes of information amassed in the literature and in herbaria on lichens. These search tools (e.g., LIAS, CNALH, RLL and KeyToNature) are freely available to novices and experts alike, from every corner of the earth where a lichen grows and piques someone’s curiosity. This section of four informative papers provides a tidy description of this work largely lacking from the lichen literature (as evidenced from RLL and Mattick’s index).

My favorites among this melting pot of lichen bioinformation, however, were the two papers by Tomescu et al. (2010) and Schwartzman (2010). Tomescu and others’ inventive methodology to simulate fossilization (i.e., 4 days of wet compression followed by 4 hours of heating at 130°C), represents a novel way to understand the prevalence of problematic cryptogamic fossils or paucity of non-vascular plant and fungal fossils all together. Moreover, their study compliments Schwartzman’s insights on the environmental triggers for the lichen symbiosis. I found his paper a refreshing read of big ideas and little data. His hypothesis transported me millions of years into the past, and let me watch a gasping photobiont clutch its way around its surroundings until finally collapsing into the hyphae of its partner and taking in a deep breath.

The primary weakness of the book is its lack of coherence. Within 256 pages, there were 9 sections, which made the text read like a journal rather than a book. Only one line on the inside cover clarifies that this volume was intended to reflect the variety of lichen information presented at IAL 6; nevertheless, as a single work it is a bit disjointed. Upon reading the title and subtitle, I had anticipated a general introduction on lichen biology providing a primer on a variety of topics for new lichenologists. In retrospect, the title aptly describes the contents of this text, yet its generality led me to anticipate a book suitable for novices. Prolific esoteric lichen terminology, the journal-like format, and studies narrowly focusing on one geographic problem or taxonomic group limit its utility to this audience. Ironically, this text may be more appropriate for professional lichenologists who, in all likelihood, attended the IAL symposium themselves. So if you prepare yourself for a journal-like read, you will be rewarded with gems of lichen inquiry and documentation of the technological transformation of our field.

Emily A Holt, Department of Biology, Utah Valley University

Inoculum 63 (3), June 2012

Table of Contents top ↑

Together and separate: The lives of the lichen symbionts
SANDERS, W.B.: Together and separate: reconstructing life histories of
lichen symbionts 1
LARSEN, E.: Progress in culturing foliicolous lichens on coverslips 17
Lichenicolous Fungi: Taxonomy and Diversity
KNUDSEN, K. & KOCOURKOVÁ, J.: A new species of Stigmidium from
corticolous Caloplaca in southern California (USA) and Baja California
(Mexico) 25
KOCOURKOVÁ, J. & KNUDSEN, K.: A new species of Dacampia
(Dacampiaceae) on Lecania fuscella 33
Integrated Data Networks in Lichenology
RANDLANE, T., SAAG, A., MARTELLOS, S. & NIMIS, P.L.: Computer-aided,
interactive keys to lichens in the EU project KeyToNature, and related
resources 37
TIMDAL, E.: Recent literature on lichens: web services and further
developments 43
T.H. & RAMBOLD, G.: Integrated biodiversity data networks for
lichenology - data flows and challenges 47
NASH III, T.H., GRIES, C. & GILBERT, E.: The consortium of North
American lichen herbaria: a virtual flora using the SYMBIOTA framework
Air Pollution and Public Health
UNSWORTH, C.: Use of rare earth element signatures in lichen, bark and
adjacent soils as indicators of sources of geological materials 65
WOLSELEY, P., SUTTON, M., LEITH, I. & VAN DIJK, N.: Epiphytic lichens
as indicators of ammonia concentrations across the UK 75
REIG-ARMIÑANA, J. & BARRENO, E.: Nitric oxide is involved in oxidative
stress during rehydration of Ramalina farinacea (L.) Ach. in the
presence of the oxidative air pollutant cumene hydroperoxide 87
SWEAT, K., GREMILLION, P.T. & NASH III, T.H.: Mercury concentrations
in the lichen Xanthoparmelia spp. in the greater Grand Canyon region
of Arizona, USA 93
LOUÇÃO, M.A.: Lichen transplants at our service for atmospheric NH3
deposition assessments 103
RIDDELL, J., PADGETT, P.E. & NASH III, T.H.: Responses of the lichen
Ramalina menziesii Tayl. to ozone fumigations 113
Lichens and conifer needles as indicators of airborne semi-volatile
organic compounds in western North America 125
Lichen Community Structure and Dynamics
intensity drives the local variation of lichen diversity in
Mediterranean ecosystems sensitive to desertification 139
PINHO, P., BRANQUINHO, C. & MÁGUAS, C.: Modeling ecology of lichens
communities based on photobiont type in relation to potential solar
radiation and neighborhood land-use 149
MUCHNIK, E.: Evaluation of the significance of different abiotic
factors for species of the Parmeliaceae family in the Russian
forest-steppe zone 161
WILL-WOLF, S., NELSEN, M.P. & TREST, M.T.: Responses of small foliose
lichen species to landscape pattern, light regime, and air pollution
from a long-term study in upper Midwest USA 167
Oldest Lichens and Bryophytes
TOMESCU, A.M.F., TATE, R.W., MACK, N.G. & CALDER, V.J.: Simulating
fossilization to resolve the taxonomic affinities of thalloid fossils
in Early Silurian (ca. 425 Ma) terrestrial assemblages 183
SCHWARTZMAN, D.W.: Was the origin of the lichen symbiosis triggered by
declining atmospheric carbon dioxide levels? 191
The World under Your Feet: Biological Soil Crusts
BATES, S.T., GARCIA-PICHEL, F. & NASH III, T.H.: Fungal components of
biological soil crusts: insights from culture-dependent and culture-
independent studies 197
Microclimatic factors and photosynthetic activity of crustose lichens
from the semiarid southeast of Spain: long-term measurements for
Diploschistes diacapsis 211
Mexican Parmeliaceae Systematics
PÉREZ PÉREZ, R.L. & NASH III, T.H.: The genus Canoparmelia in Mexico
ESSLINGER, T.L. & PÉREZ PÉREZ, R.L.: The genus Melanohalea in Mexico,
including a new endemic species 239
Selectivity in the Lichen Symbiosis
populations of Ramalina farinacea (L.) Ach. share different
Trebouxia algae 247