Eastern Candlewax Lichen

(Ahtiana aurescens)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Eastern Candlewax Lichen

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

S3 - Vulnerable

Minnesota

Special Concern

Occurrence

 

Habitat/Hosts

Old growth forests. Cedar and pine trees.

 

 

    Photo by Luciearl
 
Identification

This is a medium-sized lichen that grows on the bark of cedar and pine trees, rarely on hardwood trees. It is found in undisturbed old growth forests, where the dense shade, high humidity, and the texture of the substrate (bark), combine to create ideal conditions for its proliferation. In Minnesota, it is usually found in northern white cedar swamps. It often grows alongside American Starburst Lichen (Imshaugia placorodia) on pine trees.

The vegetative body (thallus) is leaf-like (foliose) and divided into large branches (lobes). It grows close to but loosely attached to the substrate (bark) by short, pale, sparse to abundant, anchoring structures (rhizines). The lobes may be flat and branching or crowded and overlapping. The upper surface is yellowish-green and usually wrinkled. It does not have powdery dull granules (soredia), shiny granules (isidia), or a chalky or “frosted” surface (pruina). The lower surface is pale brown, smooth, and shiny. Small, lobe-like reproductive structures (lobules) are usually produced on the margins of the lobes. The lobules are round and 1 64 to 1 16 (0.5 to 2 mm) in diameter.

Disk-like, spore-producing structures (apothecia) are usually abundant. The disks are 1 16to ¼ (2 to 7 mm) in diameter, reddish-brown, slightly raised, and shaped like a plate. They appear near the margins on the upper surface. Each disk has a ring of tissue around it that resembles the tissue of the vegetative (non-fruiting) part of the lichen. There are also tiny, globular chambers (pycnidia) embedded in the thallus with an opening through which fungal spores are released. The pycnidia look like black pinpricks in the thalus and are very conspicuous.

The photosynthetic partner (photobiont) is green and may be Trebouxia, but lichen photobionts are difficult to identify.

 
Similar
Species

Yellow Ribbon Lichen (Allocetraria oakesiana) has yellowish granules (soredia) on the margins.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 6, 24, 26, 29, 30, 72, 77.

The records from Rosseau and Lake of the Woods Counties were in 1901. Eastern Candlewax Lichen is now considered “possibly extirpated” in those counties.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

 

No Rank:

saccharomyceta

 

Subdivision:

Pezizomycotina

 

No Rank:

leotiomyceta

 

Class:

Lecanoromycetes

 

Subclass:

Lecanoromycetidae

 

Order:

Lecanorales

 

Suborder:

Lecanorineae

 

Family:

Parmeliaceae

 

Mycobiont:

Ahtiana aurescens

 

Photobiont:

Trebouxia?

 
Synonyms

Cetraria aurescens

Tuckermannopsis aurescens

 
Common
Names

Eastern Candlewax Lichen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Apothecium

An open, disk-shaped or cup-shaped, reproductive structure, with spore sacs on the upper surface, that produces spores for the fungal partner of a lichen. Plural: apothecia.

 

Foliose

Adjective: Leaf-like growth form; referring to lichens with leaf-like growths divided into lobes.
Noun: The leaf-like, vegetative body of a lichen (thallus) that has thin, flat lobes which are free from the substrate.

 

Lobule

A small lobe-like subdivision of a lobe. In lichens, a small lobe-like, asexual, reproductive structure produced at the edge of a lobe, breaks off, and reestablishes elsewhere.

 

Photobiont

The photosynthetic partner of a lichen; either green algae or cyanobacteria.

 

Pruina

On lichens, a thin, powdery or crystaline deposit on the surface of the thalus. It may appear chalky or frosty, and is usually white, gray, or bluish.

 

Rhizine

A root-like structure of a lichen that attaches the lower layer to the substrate.

 

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.

       
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Luciearl
       
  Eastern Candlewax Lichen    
       
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Luciearl
8/29/2018

Location: Cass County

Eastern Candlewax Lichen


     
     
 
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Created: 9/16/2018

Last Updated:

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