6799040259_9e03ae1f97
Photo © Pete Woods, all rights reserved
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States (Google, OSM)
40.436646, -79.898768
open

Description

Air pollution extirpated this whole genus of lichens from Pennsylvania about a hundred years ago. So why it was growing in Frick Park, in the middle of Pittsburgh, the air pollution capitol of the east, I do not know.

It was growing on an ash tree, attached to the trunk where the trunk was about 3 inches wide. The lichen clump is about 4 inches wide, with the longest branch about 4 inches long. The tree was infested with emerald ash borer, and had been recently cut down.

This may be an isolated waif, or it may be part of a larger population. I still have to do a better search of the immediate area, and of other ash trees around the park, to see if there are any other colonies.

The elastic cord inside each stem clearly identifies this as an Usnea. There are 9 species of this genus historically known from Pennsylvania; I haven't yet figured out which species this is or if any other Usneas have been collected in recent decades.

Apr. 26, 2012 22:38:28 -0400
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Comments & Identifications

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Posted by pete_woods over 2 years ago (Flag)
2370-thumb
Beard Lichens - Photo (c) Arthur Chapman, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
ctracey's ID: Beard Lichens (Genus Usnea)
Posted by ctracey 11 months ago (Flag)
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Identification Summary

Beard Lichens - Photo (c) Arthur Chapman, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
Community ID: Beard Lichens (Genus Usnea)
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ctracey 1 person agrees

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Data Quality Assessment

Community-supported ID? Yes
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Date? Yes
Georeferenced? Yes
Photos or sounds? Yes
Is the organism wild/naturalized? Unknown
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Observation © Pete Woods
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