Sunday, 24 May 2015

The secret world of Lichens at Ingleton Churchyard - 20 June 2015

Ingleton Churchyard Lichens 2015 - 1

Learn about the fascinating plants 
that encrust tree bark, rocks and 
places that are too dry for other plants

Come on a Lichens Workshop for COMPLETE BEGINNERS. 
9.45am-12pm Sat 20 June - in the beautiful Dales village of Ingleton
as part of the 2015 Ingleton Overground Underground Festival (19-21 June)
(N.B. this post is similar to the one I wrote last May 2014)

Your eyes will be opened to a new magical world. 
You'll start noticing amazing shapes, colours and textures on objects in the landscape. 
You'll go back home knowing a few common lichens (knowledge that you can share with your friends)  and ..
you'll be enthusiastic to learn more!

Pronounce its "litchen" or "liken" - whichever sound you like best.  Most scientist say "liken"

So what lichens might we see?

"Ingleton Churchyard Lichens - parts 1 to 7" describe the lichens you can see in the churchyard, as you walk through 7 different areas.  They are made up of photos taken on three visits: 30 Jan, 3 March and 21 March 2014. Special thanks are given to Dr Allan Pentecost who accompanied myself and two friends on 21 March for his help in identifying the lichens. 

Don't worry if you don't remember all the names just now - simply enjoy looking at the colours.

If you can't come on the workshop, call in at the church and see if there are still some lichen trail guides left out for you to borrow. and give yourself a self guided walk.

Here is the memorial cross outside the Churchyard. I

Here are the seven sites we are going to visit, (marked with white and red numbers on the picture below).

1. The lichens on the cross but just lower than this picture (this post)
2. The lichens on the wall in the foreground to the left of this picture
3. The lichens on several graves near to this one:-
4. The lichens on the flat slab of this table tomb
5. The white lichens round the door to the church
6. The lichens on the branches of the tree
7. The lichens round the back of the church

Site 1. 
The lichens on the war memorial cross and on the paving slabs below.

Let's get our hand lens out.

Can you see the two blobs touching each other vertically near the base of the cross?

Well lo and behold, the first one I chose to look at we can't identify because the slugs have gazed it hard an removed all distinguishing features

Look just below them there is a yellow powdery lichen. this is Candellariella vitellina. We'll see lots more of this yellow lichen later

Seen close up..the cross is in fact covered with lichen -
Candelariella vitellina

Lichens are an association of a fungus and an algae. 
The fungal threads give the lichen structure and they collect water and nutrients. 
The algae are scattered amongst the fungus as single cells. They are green because they have the green pigment chlorophyll so they can photosynthesize and capture the sun's energy, and so can make sugars.
The body of a lichen is called a THALLUS.

The white, and the yellow lichens are CRUSTOSE lichens. They make crusts on the surface of the rock.

.If you go round the back of the cross to where I have marked an arrow on this diagram, you can see Lecanora .... this Lecanora intricata?.....

Looking at the side there are twp patches near the lower middle

The centre right blob is Porpidia tuberculosa

Porpidia tuberculosa

Allan is looking at Buellia aethallia -
 this is blackish and grows on very smooth acid rocks.

Buellia aethallia

On the pavement there is Caloplaca flavovirescens

Caloplaca flavovirescens - This turns red when a drop of alkaline solution is put on it. (Top right)
Caloplaca flavovirescens

This is the white lichen in the centre tile of the above picture.
It is Lecanora contorta
Somewhere under our noses is Verrucaria fusconigrescens 

Verrucaria fusconigrescens  on the left

Left: Verrucaria fusconigrescens 
Right:  Aspicillia calcarea

From where you are standing in front of the cross, turn 90 degrees to the left and look at the top of the limestone cap-stones  of the church yard wall - indeed over the top is a table tomb.

or the same stones looking back in.

Caloplaca flavescens bright orange

More Verrucaria fusconigrescens

Aspicillia contorta (var hofmanii)

Verucaria nigrescens

End of site 1.

 Click to proceed to site 2   ( the 3 metres of outside churchyard-wall between here and the green sign post )

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