Green Reindeer Lichen

(Cladonia mitis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Green Reindeer Lichen

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common in northern Minnesota

Habitat/Hosts

Spruce forests, abandoned fields, grassy areas. Thin soil, clay, rock, turf, moss, dead leaves, and debris. Full sun.

 

 

Photo by Luciearl

Identification

This is a slow growing, long-lived, shrubby lichen. It is very common in Alaska, throughout Canada, and across the northern United States except in the Pacific northwest. It grows on the ground in full sun on thin soil, clay, rock, turf, moss, dead leaves, and debris. It is especially common in white spruce and black spruce forests, but is also found in abandoned fields and grassy areas. It forms dense mats with other species of Cladonia that can form a continuous carpet on the forest floor. A single clump often contains more than one species of Cladonia.

The vegetative body (thallus) is a shrubby tuft of many branching stems. The primary thallus is inconspicuous and composed of scaly, flaky, rounded, prostrate pieces (squamulose). The secondary talus is conspicuous, upright, three dimensional, and shrubby (fruticose). It is composed of numerous, richly branched, hollow stalks (podetia). The podetia are 1 to 4¾ long, 1 64 to 1 32 (0.5 to 0.8 mm) wide, and whitish, cream-colored, pale yellowish-gray, or pale yellowish-green. They grow upward at the tip and die back at the base. They readily absorb moisture, becoming flexible when moist, crusty when dry. Each branch ends in two to four short branchlets which spread in all directions. Spores are produced at the tip of each branchlet and these tips are sometimes light brown. Separate, cup-shaped, spore-producing structures (apothecia) are not produced.

 
Similar
Species

Gray Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina) terminal branchlets are swept in the same direction.


Distribution Distribution Map  

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


Comments

Taxonomy
This species was formerly placed in the genus Cladina. Recent DNA studies suggest that Cladina should be treated as a subspecies of Cladonia.

What’s in a Name?
Cladonia lichens are the primary source of food in winter for caribou (reindeer), hence the common name Reindeer Lichens.


Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

 

No Rank:

saccharomyceta

 

Subdivision:

Pezizomycotina

 

No Rank:

leotiomyceta

 

Class:

Lecanoromycetes

 

Subclass:

Lecanoromycetidae

 

Order:

Lecanorales

 

Suborder:

Lecanorineae

 

Family:

Cladoniaceae

 

Mycobiont:

Cladonia mitis

 

Photobiont:

Trebouxia glomerata

 
Synonyms

Cladina arbuscula ssp. mitis

Cladina arbuscula var. mitis

Cladina mitis

Cladonia arbuscula ssp. mitis

Cladonia arbuscula ssp. stricta

Cladonia arbuscula var. mitis

Cladonia sylvatica var. mitis

 
Common
Names

Green Reindeer Lichen

Spineless Reindeer Lichen


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Apothecia

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.

 

Fruticose

Shrubby: referring to the growh form of lichens that may be tufted, draped, or stalked.

 

Podetium

The hollow stalk of the fruiting body of lichens in the genus Cladonia. Plural: podetia.

 

Thallus

The vegetative body of a lichen composed of both the alga and the fungus.

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this fungi or lichen.

Luciearl


Growing in full sun, feels crunchy and stiff.

  Green Reindeer Lichen   Green Reindeer Lichen

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
     
     
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this fungi or lichen.

     
     

Other Videos

 
     
     
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this fungi or lichen.

Luciearl
8/29/2018

Location: Cass County

Growing in full sun, feels crunchy and stiff.

Green Reindeer Lichen


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

 


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2018 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.