Home page of the California Lichen Society

Bulletin of the California Lichen Society

Volume 1 No. 1 Summer 1994


The founding meeting of the California Lichen Society was held January 29, 1994 at the Santa Cruz cabin of the newly elected president, Janet Doell, where she and her husband, Richard Doell, hosted a group of seven lichenists including Harry Thiers, SFSU; Mona Bourell, CAS; Doris Baltzo, UC; Charis Bratt, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History; Barbara Lachelt, San Anselmo; Bill Hill, Fairfax; Darrell Wright, Berkeley; and their guests, Nancy Brewer, Lowell High School, San Francisco; and Peter Bratt, Santa Barbara. The group agreed that the focus of the society would be promotion of the appreciation, conservation and study of the California lichens, that it would conduct field trips and seminars, and would publish a newsletter. Membership is open to all. The meeting was followed by a foray into the redwood forest about the cabin.

The second meeting was held April 23 at San Francisco State University, San Francisco. President Janet Doell advised that the existence of the Society had been declared to the County of Contra Costa as a preliminary to opening a checking account in the Society's name. After filing and banking expenses, a balance of $91- remained. Copies of proposed by-laws were made available for study prior to the next meeting, when they will be discussed. There was discussion of a questionnaire received from the British Natural History Museum regarding the preparation of a "red list" of endangered lichens.

Richard and Janet then presented their high quality multimedia lichen slide show. This was followed by Dr. Thiers' seminar on lichen algae and cyanobacteria illustrated by microscope preparations. There was a lively concurrent discussion of the photobionts. Barbara Lachelt took notes, and we have made copies for those who would like them.

Isabelle Tavares is newly retired from her post as curator of lichens and fungi at University Herbarium, UC, Berkeley, where she continues to put in regular work on her specialties, the non-lichen Laboulbeniales and the genus Usnea, as well as curation of the general fungus collections and the lichens. She has kindly agreed to edit this newsletter.

Cherie Bratt, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, together with Tom Nash, Arizona State University, co-organized a successful multinational lichenological expedition to three of the Channel Islands, her area of research interest, December 27-January 10. This was part of Tom's 15-year Sonoran Desert project. Participants included Anders Tehler and Rikard Sundin, Stockholm University; Pier Luigi Nimis and Mauro Tietro, University of Trieste; John Sheard, University of Saskatchewan; Clifford Wetmore, University of Minnesota; and Bruce Ryan and Janet Marsh, Arizona State University. In addition, Steve and Sylvia Sharnoff of Berkeley were on hand to photograph island lichens. Very preliminary results from Santa Rosa Island show 207 species with perhaps an additional 50 species expected. Species new to North America as well as several undescribed species were found. The Santa Cruz Island lichen flora went from 190 to 205 species with more expected. It was a very successful excursion.

Darrell Wright continues work on the Macrolichen Flora of Marin County and has two spin-off papers in the works, one on possible damage to lichen collections from bleach residues in the paper of herbarium packets and another on morphological variation in California Parmotrema chinense.

A New County Record for a Newly Renamed Lichen

For more than 10 years now I have observed the fertile, bright yellow cetrarioid lichen formerly called Tuckermannopsis canadensis (Räsänen) Hale (Cetraria c. Räsänen) on San Geronimo Ridge, Marin County, where it is mostly confined to Pinus muricata (Bishop Pine) in a few small groves of senescent individuals set in the midst of harshly dry Arctostaphylos-Pickeringia chaparral on serpentine soils. The species has been reported from all coastal California counties except Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara by Hale and Cole (California Lichens, 1987). I have found it nowhere else in Marin County, and there are no records from the county at SFSU or UC.

These yellow Tuckermannopsis species containing vulpinic and pinastric acids are now separated on the basis of cortical and pycnidial as well as chemical characters into the new genus Vulpicida: V. canadensis (Räsänen) J.-E. Mattson & Lai (Mycotaxon 46:425-428, 1993).

The phorophyte specificity makes me wonder if a migratory bird such as the Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus, Fringillidae) is responsible for dispersing the lichen to this place [the Pine Siskin is reported for the area by the Marin Municipal Water District's Environmental Planning Study (ca. 1972)]. In that case the lichen's apparent substrate preference might be only a reflection of the bird's preference for roosting sites. We plan to do some bird watching in the area.

Darrell Wright

"Teloschistes villosus" in California is now Teloschistes californicus Sipman

H. Sipman (Willdenowia 23:312-314, 1993) distinguishes this from T. villosus (Ach.) Norm., a South American species, on the basis of the smaller apothecia and spores, sorediate lower surface, regular perforations, and the shorter, less dense tomentum of T. californicus. This lichen, which has an apparent center of distribution in Baja California, was collected historically in southern Alta California, but is reported by Hale & Cole as probably now extinct in the U.S. (California Lichens, 1987). However, recent exploration indicates that it still exists in quantity on San Nicolas Is. (Bratt, unpubl.) and in minute quantities in two locations on Santa Barbara Is. (Bratt, in press). It has now been found also on Santa Rosa Is. In 1913 Hasse reported a collection by Blanche Trask from Santa Cruz Is., but the lichen has not been found there since. There have been no mainland collections since the early 1900's.

Cherie Bratt

Upcoming CALS Field Trips

July 22-24, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties:

Dr. Dickie Hill, a friend of the Doells' with a cabin on 50 acres near Annapolis just south of the Mendocino County border, has invited us to his property. There is ample space for car or tent campers as well as room indoors for those with sleeping bags. CALS member Don Kowalski, who knows the area well, is planning an itinerary to include pygmy forest and seashore sites. Richard Doell will demonstrate his techniques of lichen photography per member request. Contact Janet Doell at 510-236-0489 for directions to the Hill property and an itinerary.

September 30-October 2, Monterey County:

Indians Campground, near the Ventana Wilderness, Los Padres National Forest. We have had a request for a lichen checklist from the Ranger District. This fascinating area of endemic vascular plants is little known lichenologically (there are several such areas in California!), and may have some endemic lichens as well. Come when you can, stay as long as you wish. For more information and travel directions, in early September contact Cherie Bratt, 805-682-4711, or Darrell Wright, 510-644-8220. Their addresses are on the last page of the Bulletin.

From the California Academy of Sciences

Curators of the Botany Department at CAS, Dr. Tom Daniel and Dr. Frank Almeda, welcome interested persons to come and study lichens at CAS. The lichen collection includes the integrated herbaria of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Dudley Herbarium of Stanford University (DS). These collections are available for study. CAS would greatly benefit from addition of more recent collections, especially from California. Collectors are encouraged to deposit voucher specimens or duplicates at CAS. A comfortable "visitor's room" with a dissecting microscope is available. Visitors should bring their own dissecting implements. Any questions regarding the use of the herbarium and/or CAS library should be addressed to the above curators, Dr. Bruce Bartholomew, Collections Manager, or Mona Bourell, Senior Curatorial Assistant. Phone: 415-750-7187.

Mona Bourell

Crustose Lichen of the Week Project

Bill Hill originated this activity whereby we would familiarize ourselves, very gradually to be sure, with the crustose lichens of Marin County. His first selection turned out to be Buellia halonia from rocks near Stinson Beach. The most recent selection was Tephromela (Lecanora) atra from Little Mountain west of Novato. Dr. Thiers suggested we publish these findings in the CALS Bulletin, and we contemplate doing that along with photographs and TLC diagrams of the voucher collections.

President's Corner

The enthusiasm with which a small group of lichenologists banded together to form the California Lichen Society earlier this year indicates to me that the time was right for such an event. There was apparently a dormant feeling among local lichen enthusiasts that some form of organization would enhance their work.

Variety in the types of meetings, alternating seminars and field trips and holding these meetings at various locations around the state, should keep members interested and active.

The Bulletin is another important facet of the Society, providing a vehicle for the dissemination of news and information among members who have often worked alone in the past. With more contact now possible between local lichenologists, our goal of increasing our own knowledge of the California lichen flora while making the public more aware of its existence and value should come within reach in the years ahead.

Many thanks are due Darrell Wright, Isabelle Tavares and Bill Hill for organizing the Bulletin. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Harry Thiers for preparing the seminar presented at the last meeting; and Cherie Bratt for arranging the September field trip. Membership participation such as this

will keep the Society alive and well.

Janet Doell

Members of the California Lichen Society

BRATT, Cherie
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta Del Sol Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105
BROWN, Irene
DOELL, Janet
DOELL, Richard
FOLEY, Kevin
HILL, Bill
LACHELT, Barbara
MCGEE, Mikki
MUIRHEAD, J. Fraser, M.D.
TAVARES, Isabelle
WRIGHT, Darrell
2337 Prince St., Berkeley CA 94705
Fig. 1. Participants at the founding meeting of CALS, March 29, 1994, Santa Cruz. Front row, left to right: Barbara Lachelt, Janet Doell, Doris Baltzo, Mona Bourell, Cherie Bratt. Back row: Richard Doell, Darrell Wright, Nancy Brewer, Ellen Thiers, Harry Thiers, Bill Hill, Peter Bratt.