Tree Lungwort

(Lobaria pulmonaria)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Tree Lungwort

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread and locally common

Habitat/Hosts

Mature coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests.

 

 

    Photo by Luciearl

Identification

Tree Lungwort is a large lichen that occurs in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa. In Minnesota it occurs in the northeast and north-central regions. It is found on trees, mossy rocks, and wood in mature and old growth coniferous and deciduous forests. It grows on the bark of mostly deciduous trees, including maple, beech, ash, and oak, but also on balsam fir. It does not grow on the bark of basswood, pine, or spruce. It is sensitive to atmospheric pollution and is considered a good indicator of a rich, healthy, unpolluted forest. It is a favorite food source for moose in northeast United States. It was once thought by herbalists to be a remedy for tuberculosis because it resembles lung tissue.

The vegetative body (thallus) is leaf-like (foliose), 2 to 6 in diameter, and divided into large lobes. The lobes are to 1¼ wide, up to 2¾ long, pale brown to olive-brown and papery when dry, bright green and leathery when wet or moist. The upper surface has a conspicuous network of ridges and depressions. The lobes are loosely attached to the substrate, often at just one end, crowded, overlapping, and hanging. On the ridges and margins there are small, roundish clusters of fungi-wrapped algal cells, some with a protective outer layer (isidia), some without (soredia). The lower surface is pale brown, blistered, and covered with fine hairs.

Disk-like, spore-producing structures (apothecia) are infrequent. When present, they appear near the lobe margins.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

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


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

 

No Rank:

saccharomyceta

 

Subdivision:

Pezizomycotina

 

No Rank:

leotiomyceta

 

Class:

Lecanoromycetes

 

Subclass:

Lecanoromycetidae

 

Order:

Peltigerales (lichens)

 

Suborder:

Peltigerineae

 

Family:

Lobariaceae

 

Mycobiont:

Lobaria pulmonaria

 

Photobiont:

green algae (Dictyochloropsis reticulata)

blue-green algae (Nostoc)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

Lung Lichen

Lungwort

Tree Lungwort


 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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: isidia.

 

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.

       

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Luciearl


  Tree Lungwort    

       
       
       

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  Huge lung lichens prove clean air in Bosnia´s Una National Park - 27.03.2009
wildernessresortde
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 14, 2009

Do you want more information on Bosnia Today? Just visit
http://https://www.wilderness-resort.de/index.php?article_id=169&clang=1

Lichens are an integral and important component of our ecosystems. The largest biomass of lichens occurs in old-growth forests with clean air quality. Lichens possess a number of characteristics that make them suitable biomonitors for air pollution. Many lichen species have large geographical ranges, allowing study of pollution gradients over long distances. Lichen morphology does not vary with the seasons, and accumulation of pollutants can occur throughout the year. Lichens are usually very long lived. But most important: Lichens are excellent biomonitors due to their sensitivity to pollution.

Due to declining population, the lung lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria) is considered to be rare or threatened in many parts of the world. The decline has been attributed to industrial forestry and air pollution, particularly acid rain.

Our last trip to Bosnia unveiled the clean air in the untouched old-growth forests of Una National Park in the Northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the end of March 2009 we explored the area around Veliki Ljutoc mountain (elevation: ca. 900 m). We discovered trees looking like remnants from pre-industrial times. Beside a rich lichen flora these trees were covered by very old and huge lichen of the rare lung lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria). Intact lichen bodies (thalli) of this enormous size have just survived where for decades neither air pollution nor forestry afflicted the forests. In Germany lung lichen of this size vanished a very long time ago.

Thanks to Mag. Dr. Bilovitz (Institute of Plant Sciences Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria) and Prof. Dr. Türk (FB Organismische Biologie Universität Salzburg, Austria), who determined samples of collected lichen, we have the proof that Lobaria amplissima is growing on this tree too. Lobaria amplissima is one of the most threatened lichen species all over central Europe, and is cited in most Red Lists as either extinct or critically endangered (e.g. TÜRK & HAFELLNER 1999, WIRTH et al. 1996). Before 1900, it was rather widespread in Germany, and was known from over half of the Federal States. In the 20th century, it has only been found in the southernmost regions of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, and since 1975 it has disappeared from many localities, including the last known one in Bavaria.

The reasons for the decline of this and other Lobarion species have been thoroughly investigated, as this is the most threatened lichen element throughout (APTROOT & ZIELMAN - Herzogia 17/2004). Air pollution by sulphur dioxide has unquestionably had a harmful effect, but changes in forest management are often also provided as explanation. Recent research has shifted towards population studies, as individuals of the Lobaria species, and especially Lobaria amplissima, are thought to be long-lived (in the order of a century and more), as can be deduced from the often large thalli and the minimal yearly radial growth. In general, habitat continuity seems to be a prerogative for the survival of Lobarion species.

 
     
  Harvesting Lungwort Lichen - Spur of the Moment video
The Practical Herbalist
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 28, 2017

Lungwort lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria) makes a great anti-inflammatory brew. Most people know that one must sparsely pick this slow growing lichen but when? Sue Sierralupe of The Practical Herbalist and Real Herbalism Radio gives a tip for wildcrafters.

 
     

 

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Luciearl
12/27/2018

Location: Cass County

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