Bristly Beard Lichen

(Usnea hirta)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Bristly Beard Lichen

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Very common

Habitat/Hosts

Coniferous and mixed forests

 

 

 

 

    Photo by Luciearl
 
Identification

Bristly Beard Lichen is a very common shrubby (fruticose) lichen, It occurs throughout Europe and the Americas. It is common in northeast and north-central Minnesota, very common in the Arrowhead region, but completely absent from the remaining two-thirds of the state. It is found in coniferous and mixed forests growing on the bark and twigs of sick or dying coniferous trees, rarely also on birch trees, very rarely also on rock.

The vegetative body (thallus) is pale, grayish-green, yellowish-green, or blackish-gray, and is variable in shape. It may appear as a few long drooping strands; an erect, densely branched, shrub-like tuft; or a combination of the two. The main branches are unequal in length and have numerous short side branches. They are usually short, erect, 2 to 3 (5 to 8 cm) long, up to 1 32 (1 mm) in diameter, and stiff when dry, limp when wet. Drooping branches, if present, are up to 5 (13 cm) long. All branches are angular, not round, in cross section, are swollen at the base, and are often broadly forked. The base of each branch is the same color as the rest of the branch, not blackened. The surface is dull to shiny and never cracked. It does not have either minute, rounded, pimple-like processes (papillae) or small, wart-like processes (tubercles). It has a sometimes inconspicuous network of ridges and furrows, each of which cross two or more other ridges and furrows (transversal). It is also covered with abundant scattered or densely clustered shiny granules (isidia), and may have a few 1 265 to 1 32 (0.1 to 0.5 mm) long spine-like structures (fibrils). On each fibril there are a few to numerous minute pits (soralia) where powdery reproductive granules (soredia) are produced.

Raised, disk-like, reproductive structures (apothecia) are very rarely produced.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77, 81.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

 

No Rank:

saccharomyceta

 

Subdivision:

Pezizomycotina

 

No Rank:

leotiomyceta

 

Class:

Lecanoromycetes

 

Subclass:

Lecanoromycetidae

 

Order:

Lecanorales

 

Suborder:

Lecanorineae

 

Family:

Parmeliaceae (shield lichens and allies)

 

Mycobiont:

Usnea hirta

 

Photobiont:

 

 
Synonyms

Lichen hirtus

Usnea barbata var. hirta

 
Common
Names

Bristly Beard Lichen

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Fruticose

Shrubby: referring to the growh form of lichens that may be tufted, draped, or stalked.

 

Isidium

The reproductive structure of a lichen consisting of a cluster of algal cells (the photobiont) wrapped in fungal filaments (the mycobiont) and enclosed within a layer of protective tissue (cortex). Plural: insidia.

 

Papilla

A tiny, rounded, nipple-like projection on the surface of a leaf or petal.

 

Soredium

The reproductive structure of a lichen consisting of a cluster of algal cells (the photobiont) wrapped in fungal filaments (the mycobiont). Plural: soredia.

 

Thallus

The vegetative body of a lichen composed of both the alga and the fungus. Plural: thalli.

 

Tubercle

On plants and animals: a small, rounded, raised projection on the surface. On slugs: raised areas of skin between grooves covering the body.

       
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Luciearl
       
  Bristly Beard Lichen    
       
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Luciearl
11/4/2019

Location: Superior Hiking Trail, Cook County

Bristly Beard Lichen


 
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Created: 1/10/2020

Last Updated:

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