Preparing for the Enniscoe BioBlitz

Talk to me about the trees
What you have and for how long where
Decade bracket the human history
Plantings and fellings, of what tree from each Pairc,
And where you’d go to catch a cearc.

Parkland trees to native bushes
Wetland woods or drier sorts
Field hedges and river banks
Makes for a landscape of many ages
Wild corners from half a century ago
To a tree two centuries old.

Beech, Oak, Sycamore and Lime
Willow, Ash, Alder, Birch
Hawthorn, Cherry, Sloe and Apple
are the sort of trees we can expect
When we walk round Enniscoe

Take me to the woods,
And show me to the trees,
Let me look a while
‘til I’ve seen some life,
and into species so decide,
list their Latin names,
from a feature of this place.

Let that feature be some plot;
an area so clearly marked
that one cannot miss
its edges or its ground
when one next is passing round.

Footsteps botany, large or small,
Sonic memories from minds afar,
Linguistic sounds consistently uttered,
as species forms are acknowledged,
hypotheses of scientists’ from now right back to long ago.
Latin keywords that compassion allows.
Spread that tapestry of botanical micro-geography,
between each path and for each coup of wood.

Preparing for a BioBlitz
Lobarion, Parmelion, Graphidion
Lecanoretum and Pertusarietum in an arboretum
Where to look for all those sterile crusts!
Self-thinned dead branches low on trees
On the ground where the stem and cap mushrooms grow
All those mossy beds, with this and that.
Will the Ramalina & Usnea, so bushy be
in the apple orchard?
Where to look for all those sterile crusts!

Is this place geographically flat?
We will wonder if it is too even.
Was the landscape prison too wet
From trees to grass has it been
opened up and aired in a western wind
That it has dried out too much
Until there was nothing left, or did every stick
get collected in 1847.

A Temple House by the lake
A Sligo analogy for the place
A Brookeborough Demesne or a Doneraile Park
Flat limestone, lake wet,
with an equal isopleth

Morning sun into a western shore
An anti-flow that prevails
Tree wood water has to go
to make our liverworts and mosses
guide us, here, how wetness works.
For fungi and lichens too, water moves
between soil and ground or tree bark and air
with glades that bring lake dew back down to earth

Are there empty niches round the Estate?
Was canopy butchered to make end meet?
In that false economy, the cost of living,
And the price of burning nature’s furniture,
To keep us warm in our piles,
For want to keep a country seat,
And all inside in finery.

Wood from the trees costs lives
Of those who out here with spores survive
Trees for the wood, the planter’s struck
Assets for the future of all life.

Pope Francis on his Buddhist round
In Laudato Si calls for all Christians to care for all life
Make civil habitat for all life where you are
And then we can turn this extinction clock
to make the pairc and grove
Be home to Cearc and dove.

On land and lake, field and wood
when a species watches you,
and looks to be understood,
will you do the best for this,
outside the gates of Economy.

A mycological model of this place,
Pick some mushrooms, as you see ‘em
When you are walking, far away
Bring them back to the potting shed
To fill a nature table, which we will label
with some Latin names, if we know and if we are able
And with many eyes together see
we will make a better job of Bio Blitz
Than e’er we could do alone

So pick a punnet of mushrooms,
Fill a paper bag, not short with sticks
From on and under trees of every kind,
With your mysteries, share with us,
a way to help the botanical model emerge
so together go forth and let us make
A Bio Blitz for this place.

Howard FOX
25 September 2018

Culture Night at the Margaret Aylward Centre, Friday 21 September

Glasnevin House Botany Walk on Culture Night Friday 21 September 2018

A Betula pubescens
Birch tree with papery and hard corky bark on the trunk, boughs, branches and twigs. The twigs have leaves and buds. Each leaf has stalk and a blade, with a glossy upper side and a matt lower side with veins.

B, C Old Sundial Plinths
The two plinths have Physcia caesia, a grey lichen with marginal lobes that are 1-2mm wide and central convex powdery patches called soralia. The orange leafy lichen is Xanthoria parietina, and orange yellow rimmed discs make the ascospores. This lichens’ fruitbodies are called apothecia. The grey lichen has no fruitbodies, however there are black spots which could be a lichenicolous fungal infection, of unknown species until it is sampled, dissected and observed under the microscope. More species are on each plinth too, if you stay a while and look close up with short sight or a x10 hand lens.

D Stump seat
This has, in the cracks of the wood of the tree trunk heartwood, a cushion moss, an acrocarp, with fruiting stalks or seta, with the fruit or capsule, on the end, up in the air. A tree ring count might assist in dating the planting of large trees in the Glasnevin House grounds.

E Cedrus atlantica glauca
This cedar has green grey leaf needles and the cones have resin droplets on them. Some of the young cones are green grey too, while older cones the surface cells turn into cork and go pale brown. The needles are in clusters, the twigs end in buds that make clusters of yellower young needles. A dead branch has no needles with old brown cones that are sometimes overgrown by the yellow lichen Xanthoria parietina, and other cones have been eaten by grey squirrels, Scurius carolinensis.
These tree rodents with fluffy tails can bite the fingers of the hands of people when they attempt to feed them by sharing some nuts from their packet of hazelnuts, Corylus avellana.

F Taxus baccata
This gymnosperm has a naked seed, inside a green aril, which goes red when ripe. The seed can be seen as a green or brown vessel inside the soft fleshy red aril. The Arils can drop onto the path, and are squashed by perambulator wheels or feet, and are eaten by pigeons, Columba palumbarius.

G Shrine roof
On the vertical slate joins acrocarpous cushion mosses grow. These green cushions, perhaps Bryum capillare, are not making fruits, and will make them in the spring. On the sloping slate surfaces the yellow lichen Xanthoria parietina grows.

H Sedum telephium
This fleshy matt grey green leaved herb with a broad clustered head of red flowers that mature late in the season in September and October. The leaf cells have a system of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) different from normal plants. The CAM system occurs in Cacti and other desert plants like Euphorbia. When in flower well into the Autumn, the umbels make nectar for the evening flying migrant Silver-Y moth, Plusia gamma.

I Malva sylvestris
The mallow has purple flowers with five separate petals. The leaves are rounded with long stalks.
There is a beetle that makes small shot holes in the leaves, by munching on them, while a youngster. The beetle eggs are laid on the leaf underside, right next the veins. When they hatch into larvae, these hungry creatures feed on a few mallow leaf cells, as salad making the holes. Once they mature, they turn into a pupa, and then hatch and fly off as an adult beetle.
The place where this beetle pupates is unknown, but must be in the habitat close by. For the biodiversity garden, we should think where these beetles like to pupate, and provide them that place undisturbed for the autumn, winter and spring, until the first generation of spring adults emerge.

J Quercus ilex
This evergreen oak or holm oak has glossy leathery leaves with a white hairy underside and a prominent white midrib below. The tree makes acorns in cupules, like in all kinds of oak trees. The grey lichen on the trunk bark is Diploicia canescens. It has neat narrow encrusting lobes, makes grey powdery areas, and sometimes black disk fruitbodies. If dissected under the microscope the ascospores will be 1-septate and brown, like all fertile taxa in the Physciaceae family of lichens.

K Quercus alba
This is an American oak with a rather strange leaf shape. The acorn cupules have long, eyelash-like, green prongs. The acorns themselves are like those of any oak. Many acorns fail to produce viable seeds, and do not swell at all, before they harden and become corky and fall from the tree. The acorns on the sloping path roll readily and can be a slip hazard, under an unsuspecting nun’s moccasin. Twigs of the pin oak have a second fruiting yellow lichen, Xanthoria polycarpa.

L Ilex aquifolium
The undulating edged prickly leaves, green stems, and red berries, of a female Holly bush are a feature of Christmas. The berries are green until summer and redden in the autumn. The holly blue butterfly, Celastrina argiolus, breeds in leaves of this tree, laying eggs here.

M Cedrus libani
This cedar of Lebanon has a trunk from which ivy has been cut back. It is a graceful tree when viewed from the Margaret Aylward centre meeting room. Below this is some Elder, and Ash grove and a Hawthorn hedge. The yew walk begins next, and Ivy flowers can be seen.

S Rubus fruticosus
A blackberry patch is below the cedar on an open slope.

T Sambucus nigra
The elder leaves are looking a bit yellow here in Autumn 2018.

U Fraxinus excelsior
The ash grove of saplings has a leaf mildew on the leaf underside in some leaves in Autumn 2018. There are other leaves that have been partly eaten, have inrolled galls, or are otherwise brown spotted and so on. A wide range of insects live on ash trees, and this is a good place to study which species are actually present on ash here in Glasnevin.

V Bindweed
A small flowered bindweed with fused petals making a white trumpet flower is growing among the upper part of the Blackberry patch above the grove of ash saplings. Convolvolus arvensis or Calystegia sepium are options. Can you find out what species this is?

W Crataegus monogyna
The large hawthorn bush here is without parallel in my repertoire, with the parasite Mistletoe.
Mistletoe, Viscum album, has green forked stems and small green ellipsoidal opposite leaves. It was introduced into Europe from South America in ancient times, and now grows from Norway to Portugal. The white berries, are they arils too?, rather fleshy and eaten by some birds.

X Symphytocarpus alba
The snowberry is a hedging shrub from Virginia in eastern North America. It has white to pinkish flowers and berries with frothy pulp and seeds inside. It is in the heather family with Calluna vulgaris, Erica cinerea, Erica tetralix, Arbutus unedo, and the Frochan, Vaccinium myrtillus. Can you see some reasons why it is in the heather family?

Y Fence laths with cushion and mat mosses
This old fence has been outdoors for several decades. It has taken on some mosses that normally grown on oak, sycamore or ash tree bough high in the boughs and branches of the canopy. The mosses on the fence laths include acrocarp cushions of Orthotrichum anomalum and pleurocarp mats of Hypnum cupressiforme var resupinatum. A pleurocarp is a moss with a branched shoot making a mat.

Z Salix vimnalis
This osier has elongate leaves. It is a willow, with fluffy catkins. The source of Aspirin, Salicylic acid is fresh willow bark

AA Carex pendula
By the River Tolka, the large sedge has a punchaun of basal leaves whorled together. The flowers are on long fishing rod like stems with tasselled hanging pendulous fruiting spikes with the seeds. The end spike is male and makes pollen on anthers, while the inner spikes are female and make seeds. It grows well in woodland in Ireland. The female fruits or utricles make a fine grained porridge.

AB Scrophularia nodosa
The figwort is a herbaceous plant with zygomorphic flowers that are small and snapdragon like. The ovaries swell to make green fruits.

AC Hedera helix
The leaves on the ground under the yew walk are of Ivy. A green stalk, brown runners, and a triangular hand like like leaf. Ivy tends to climb trees, bushes and walls before it produces flowers. Each flower is in an umbel, a cluster of flowers, and matures into a cluster of berries.

AD Snowberry
The snowberry in the Ericaceae family here has been cut back and the leaves have a white powdery mildew on them, 10 ix 2018, Erysiphe symphoricarpi, new to Ireland.

AF Salix vimnalis
The willow in the lawn is yellow stemmed. It is a basket or crack willow. Establishing certainty over which cultivar it is, will take more study.

AG Acer pseudoplatanus
Along the bank of the river here are some mature sycamore trees. These make winged seeds

AG Laetiporus sulphureus
On some of the yew trees of the yew walk, a yellow orange bracket fungus grows, making a brown rot in the heartwood of the yew trees.

AH Fraxinus excelsior
The ash trees by the river are large and shed terminal twigs and low branches as well as ask keys on to the lawn below. A set of young saplings could develop in this area, if left to grow.

AI Urtica dioica
A nettle patch occurs in the field at the end of the yew walk. Nettles are so well known, they need no introduction. They may be felt for on the darkest night.

AM Sambucus nigra
The elder here is full of berries. This tree could be propagated and encouraged to grow in other places along the slopes into the future. The fruits are fed on by finches, starlings, pigeons, and other birds. The flower umbels are a wonderful addition to flavour homemade pancakes in May.

AN Ulmus procera
The elm saplings here are hit by Dutch elm disease. Some persist. This tree pandemic occurs because, unlike humans, trees have no immune system. The disease, Ophiostoma ulmi, is spread by a fungus dispersing beetle which lives in galleries under the bark.

AO Inonotus dryadeus
The large oak tree here has an interesting bracket fungus on it, which leaks beads of a resin like fluid, which glistens in the light, of a humid sunny day.

AP Damson
There is a tree in the yew walk that looks as if it is a damson. There are no fruits. However if the ivy is cleared from it, and the tree is propagated, it might be interesting to see what fruits it produces.

AR Pinus montezuma
At the top of the biodiversity garden, there are three pine trees, probably from Monterey in California. The needles are in clusters and rather long, so it should be possible to establish with greater certainty, what species is present.

AX Platanus europaeus
A London plane is growing near the Margaret Aylward Centre.

BA Method
Google Images Latin name recalls what we know of species, how it looks to a camera. That scientific keyword is used to index this phenomenological existence on the surface of our planet.

BB Ethos
Humans are 25% Primrose, as the DNA of Primula vulgaris shows. Care for plants as part of a living community, as Pope Francis advises Christian civilisation in his Laudato Si encyclical.

BC Data
The Glasnevin O32 six mile raster square on NBDC in Waterford has the data. Download in csv a spreadsheet list of the latin names of what lives here.

BD Share our ability
A thousand names or more of species, to see in our neighbourhood, attested in reality in Glasnevin, by science in lingua Latin; an altruism of information, an abstraction of what lives here, our gift to society, cherished life for all of us, to care for. One by one, respect each, research each, design for each, care for each.

BE Plan with biodiversity
A garden grow more than a gardener sows. Propagate native species that do well in this place, Glasnevin, to feed dependent multitudes. Plan for all local species, make it possible for them to live here. Do that, and one is making a habitat for life in this biodiversity garden.

Howard Fox, 12 ix 2018

Connemara field meeting 1998.

In late April and early May on the field meeting in Connemara, a wide range of lichens were found. We were based near Spiddal with Mrs Folan for the first few days, and then stayed with Mrs O’Sullivan on the Dooras peninsula.
We started in Shannawoneen wood, M1224 and M1225, an oakwood on peaty soil over granite. The roadside walls yielded some Lobaria scrobiculata, Sticta sylvatica, Leptogium lichenoides overgrowing bryophytes and the familiar range of Hypogymnia physodes, Parmelia caperata, Parmelia saxatilis, Porpidia tuberculosa, Ramalina siliquosa, Tephromela atra, Usnea flammea with parasites Abrothallus microspermus anamorph, Abr. parmeliarum, Biatoropsis usnearum, Cecidonia xenophana, Endococcus propinquus, Homostegia pigottii, Lichenoconium erodens and Phacopsis oxyspora. At the edge of the wood, we met the Abrothallus suecicus anamorph and Abr. parmotrematis on oak branches, Herteliana taylorii and on holly Arthonia ilicina, Celothelium ischnobelum, Graphis elegans, Schismatomma niveum, a new vice-county record (nvcr), and Stenocybe septata. Further up the wood by the river, Lobaria pulmonaria was seen. In open ground with atlantic blanket bog NWof the wood, huge granite erratic blocks supported Bryoria fuscescens (nvcr), Hypogymnia physodes, Mycoblastus sanguinarius (nvcr), Ochrolechia androgyna, Parmelia caperata, Sphaerophorus globosus with Fuscidea cyathoides, Porpidia tuberculosa and Parmelia omphalodes. After lunch in Bearna, we spent the afternoon at Rusheen Nature Reserve, M2523, a tiny coppice wood on one acre by the estuary. Rocks on the sea wall supported Anaptychia runciniata, Caloplaca marina, Caloplaca crenularia, Dermatocarpon miniatum, Lecanora helicopsis, Ochrolechia parella, Ramalina siliquosa, Rhizocarpon richardii, Tephromela atra, Verrucaria maura and Xanthoria parietina. The maritime lichen chart was circulated to novices, who were asked to pick three thalli on the wall for naming, and their conclusions were examined individually. With careful observation, most people fared well. Aspicilia leprosescens was quite common on the wall and a search for Stigmidium aggregatum failed. This lichenicolous species was originally described from a specimen of Asp. leprosescens (not Asp. calcarea, Mudd 1861: 298), on coastal slates in Co. Down in the 1860s, and it has not been seen on this host since then (Hawksworth 1983: 14). The trees had a limited flora, but one of two surviving elms yielded Collema subflaccidum.
On Sunday 26 April 1998 we drove to the causeway leading out to Crappagh Island, W of Lettermullan, L8222. This island has granite in the north and amphibolite in the south. A traverse of the island demonstrated the clear floristic distinction between drystone walls with Ochrolechia parella, Ramalina siliquosa, Tephromela atra etc. and flushed bedrock with Aspicilia caesiocinerea, Cladonia subcervicornis, Parmelia conspersa and P. loxodes. On the west coast of Crappagh, granite joints with Sea Pink Armeria maritima roots supported Agonimia tristicula, Collema furfuraceum, Degelia ligulata and Dermatocarpon miniatum. Some slabs further south with the Parmelia conspersa-P. loxodes flush assemblage had Marchandiomyces corallinus on both Parmelia spp. and Lecanora muralis. On Parmelia conspersa, several spots were found but when later examined these proved no fungus but isidium scars and burrows of mites. The search for Abrothallus caerulescens and Stigmidium xanthoparmeliarum in Connemara goes on ! Ivy, Hedera helix ssp. hibernica is a brilliant saxicolous Lobarion indicator on crags in very exposed treeless parts of Western Ireland. An area of amphibolite crags on Crappagh Island, L829225, with some ivy and underhangs inland supported a challenging range of white saxicolous crusts characteristic of Atlantic coastal heaths: Arthonia atlantica, Coccotrema citrinescens, Diploicia canescens, Dirina massaliensis sorediata (nvcr), Herteliana taylorii, Haematomma ochroleucum, Lecanora gangaleoides, L. rupicola, Lecidea phaeops, Ochrolechia androgyna, O. parella, Pertusaria albescens, P. cf. chiodectonoides, P. corallina, P. excludens, a fascinating crust which turned out to be P. monogona (nvcr), P. pseudocorallina, Porpidia cinereoatra, Sclerophyton circumscriptum and Tephromela atra. Anaptychia runciniata, Fuscidea cyathoides, Lecanora sulphurea, Pertusaria flavicans, Ramalina cuspidata, Rinodina luridescens, Rhizocarpon geographicum and Sphaerophorus globosus added colour and texture to the sward. Given the Lobarion potential, a patch of Lobaria virens materialised here for the group. This locality was the sole site for Arthonia diploiciae (nvcr), and had the best developed Sclerophyton circumscriptum assemblage on the meeting. In the mid afternoon, we went to Toindubh, a headland of SW Lettermullen, L8221. Here a north-west facing amphibolite cliff yielded a spectacular 50m long Lobarion element with Degelia atlantica, Heterodermia obscurata, Leptogium brittanicum, L. cyanescens, Lobaria pulmonaria, L. virens, Nephroma laevigatum, Parmeliella triptophylla, Peltigera horizontalis, a substantial colony of Pseudocyphellaria crocata (nvcr), Sticta fuliginosa, among Anaptychia runciniata and strands of Ramalina cuspidata in excess of a foot long. The usual white saxicolous crusts were here. On a traverse to pillow-lavas on the south side of the peninsula, Degelia ligulata turned up frequently again on old Armeria stems. Dactylospora parellaria on Och. parella, Sclerococcum sphaerale on Pertusaria corallina and Marchandiomyces corallinus on Ramalina subfarinacea were the most obvious lichen parasites.
Having begun to get our teeth into the superb oceanic lichen flora on amphibolite, on Monday morning we resumed on the SE coast of Gorumna Island, L8921. The foreshore yielded Pyrenocollema halodytes, Verrucaria striatula, V. mucosa, V. maura, Stigmidium marinum, Lichina pygmaea, and further up Aspicilia leprosescens without any parasites, Lichina confinis, Lecanora albescens, L. fugiens, L. helicopsis, Caloplaca marina, C. thallincola and the now familar Agonimia tristicula, Collema furfuraceum, Degelia ligulata, Dermatocarpon miniatum community. Solenopsora holophaea and S. vulturiensis were very scarce and Polychidium muscicola was a slight surprise in the Schistidium maritimum zone. Ledges with Cladonia rangiformis and Peltigera rufescens supported a lobulate Nephroma, provoking debate that it might well be N. tangierense, a claim still requiring confirmation. A careful search of a Plantago sward with bare clay yielded Moelleropsis nebulosa and Verrucaria bryoctona (nvcr) but some terricolous species expected did not show up. Calcite veins in the amphibolite added Caloplaca citrina, Catillaria lenticularis, Gyalecta jenensis, Lecanora albescens, L. muralis, Toninia aromatica, Verrucaria nigrescens. After a picnic lunch we continued to search for new niches. Creeping willow, Salix repens here had a limited epiphyte flora. Arthonia radiata, Caloplaca cerina, Fuscidea lightfootii, Lecania erysibe, Opegrapha atra, Physcia tenella, Ramalina farinacea and Xanthoria parietina occurred mainly on old stems of the largest bushes. After getting a bit blazé about the uniformity of the oceanic grey-zone element with an Ochrolechia parella, Ramalina siliquosa, Schaereria fuscocinerea, Tephromela atra assemblage on prominent rocks and Cecidonia xenophana, Coccotrema citrinescens, Herteliana taylorii, Lecidea phaeops, Nephroma laevigatum, Normandina pulchella, Pertusaria flavicans, etc., on wet seepages, we came upon a quite distinct assemblage on an east sloping slab with Cetraria aculeata, Cladonia portentosa, Cl. subcervicornis, Cl. uncialis, Hypogymnia physodes, Micarea lignaria, Parmelia caperata, P. omphalodes, P. saxatilis, Placynthiella icmalea, Platismatia glauca, Sphaerophorus globosus, Stereocaulon vesuvianum, Trapelia coarctata and Trapeliopsis pseudogranulosa. This element is characteristic of peat bogs with granite blocks which dominate the northern half of Gorumna Island. During the late afternoon as we were flagging, a few extra species began appearing including Collema subflaccidum and Nephroma parile on ivy stems in a damp sheltered gulley. A careful study of a large S-facing outcrop with Lecidea fuscoatra, Lecidea fuliginosa, Rhizocarpon obscuratum, Schaereria fuscocinerea indicated that Cecidonia xenophana was very common on Porpidia cineroatra, and that Pertusaria excludens was a frequent component of the amphibolite whitewash. On Pertusaria flavicans close to ground level, the typical brown arcs of Rhizocarpon advenulum appeared and we initially considered an infection on Pertusaria pseudocorallina to be the same species. In retrospect, Cyphelium marcianum seemed a more likely candidate, and on a revisit this autumn the occurrence of Cyphelium marcianum (nvcr) was confirmed. In the late evening, a very difficult pulvinate Pertusaria was collected on a cliff, and the rarely recorded Lecanora subcarnea was extracted from an underhang.
After such a pleasant previous day, we restarted a few kilometres west at a harbour on the S coast of Gorumna, L879212. We began on a wet crag clothed with Herteliana taylorii, Lecidea phaeops and Pertusaria flavicans. A calcite lens about a foot wide in this cliff held some nice additions of now ruderal species around Clauzadea monticola, Verrucaria hochstetteri, Caloplaca citrina, and some Lepraria lesdainii (nvcr). A sunny SE facing slab at the Harbour with Anaptychia runciniata, Buellia ocellata, Lecanora muralis, Parmelia conspersa, P. loxodes, hosted Sphinctrina tubiformis (nvcr) on Pertusaria pseudocorallina. A brisk march SE to the coast for lunch at Aillewore, L8820, brought us to a wonderful exposed shore, white with lichens inland and grey with Degelia ligulata in the crevices in the Armeria belt at the top of the shore. Scrambling further east Parmeliella leucophaea was added to the Gorumna list, and Parmeliella triptophylla was seen in a few spots. After two and a half days looking at amphibolite whitewash, a burnt Lecanora polytropa with Carbonea-oid ascomata finally sent me completely over the edge. Three microscope slides later and a 2700 mile drive this summer to see a specimen in GZU proved that it was definitely not Carbonea supersparsa !
Wednesday 29 April, in Derryclare wood L8349 was a pleasant change of scene, in the best quality oceanic woodland habitat in Connemara (Folan & Mitchell 1970 Proc. R. Ir. Acad. 70B 163-170), with the demands of field identification of epiphytic Lobarion macrolichens and oceanic corticolous crusts. Collema fasciculare (nvcr) on hazel, C. furfuraceum, C. subflaccidum, Degelia atlantica, D. plumbea, Leptogium brebissonii, L. burgesii, L. cyanescens, L. cochleatum, L. gelatinosum, L. lichenoides, Lobaria pulmonaria with Plectocarpon lichenum (nvcr), L. virens, Nephroma laevigatum, Pannaria conoplea, P. pezizoides, P. rubiginosa, Parmeliella parva (nvcr), P. testacea (nvcr) on hazel, P. triptophylla, Peltigera horizontalis, P. praetextata, Sticta canariensis in massive swards on ash, St. c. dufourii frequently with Hemigrapha astericus on joined morphs, St. fuliginosa, St. limbata and St. sylvatica. A quick look at the hazel yielded Arthonia didyma, A. ilicina, Arthopyrenia antecellans, Celothelium ischnobelum, Graphina anguina, Graphis elegans, G. scripta, Opegrapha atra, O. brevis, Phaeographis smithii, Porina aenea, Pyrenula occidentalis, Thelotrema lepadinum, Th. monospora auct. and Th. petractoides. Mature oaks trunks were quite rich with Acrocordia gemmata, Agonimia octospora (nvcr), Arthonia spadicea, A. vinosa, Biatora epixanthoides (nvcr), B. sphaeroides, Catillaria atropurpurea, C. pulvurea, Chrysothrix candelaris, Cladonia spp., Dimerella lutea, several species of Lepraria, Lecanactis abietina, Megalospora tuberculosa, Normandina pulchella, Ochrolechia androgyna, Opegrapha varia, Pacyphiale carneola, Phyllopsora rosei (nvcr), Pyrrhospora quernea, Thelopsis rubella (nvcr) and Thelotrema lepadinum. In addition to vast swards of Sticta canariensis c., Ash trees yielded Bacidia rubella, Dimerella pineti, Gyalecta truncigena (nvcr) and Strigula taylorii (nvcr). A species with large black apothecia took a while to register as Bactrospora homalotropa. A mineral soil bank leading to the wood supported Bryophagus gloeocapsa (nvcr). The saxicolous flora in the wood includes some endolithic Verrucaria spp. on limestone and the usual siliceous lakeshore suspects Collema flaccidum, C. glebulentum, Dermatocarpon miniatum and Staurothele fissa. The overriding impression in Derryclare is the vulnerability of some lichens with very small populations, the generally simplified epiphytic flora on many individual tree stems, and the exposure and acidity of the upper margin of the wood adjacent to conifer clearfell.
On Thursday, we slowly climbed Doughruagh from the south west flank, L7259 to L7559. A rather uneventful siliceous rock flora with Cladonia spp., Coccotrema citrinescens, Herteliana taylorii, Hymenelia lacustris, Lecidea lithophila, L. phaeops, Micarea lignaria, Pertusaria flavicans, Porpidia macrocarpa, Stereocaulon vesuvianum, Tremolechia atrata, and so on were seen on the ascent. The most enlightening feature was the rediscovery of micashist overhangs (L7459) about 2m to 4m high, now fringed with Rhododendron, a habitat from which Charles du bois Larbalestier probably collected several rare oceanic species in the 1870s In one patch, several interesting oceanic species such as Bacidia carneoglauca, Enterographa hutchinsiae, Lecanactis abietina, Haematomma ochroleucum, Thelotrema lepadinum, Tylothallia biformigera and a tiny black stipitate lichen which was passed off as nascent Pilophorus strumaticus, were found growing directly on micashist. After a brave initial attempt to make the top, we stopped to view the Kylemore ‘assart’, a rounded field cleared from woodland in the valley below. The gabbro on the summit plateau L7559 was remarkably bare of lichens but those there . At a flushed stream head, gabbro cobbles set in very thin peaty beds was covered in Amygdalaria consentiens (nvcr), Ephebe lanata, Hymenelia lacustris, Lecidea lactea, Pilophorus strumaticus, Porpidia contrapoenda (nvcr), P. crustulata and P. tuberculosa. This is a very distinct assemblage with Cladonia bellidiflora, Micarea leprosula and Pycnothelia papillaria as terricolous associates, and is probably restricted to oceanic mountain summits in Ireland, as suggested by Gilbert & Fryday, 1996 Lichenologist 28 113-127. Prominent blocks on the west slope have a more traditional siliceous rock flora with Fuscidea cyathoides, Pertusaria corallina, Rhizocarpon geographicum, Sclerococcum sphaerale, and on some blocks Toninia thiopsora and Miriquidica complanata (nvcr) were seen indicating that the upland element may be more diverse.
On Friday 1 May 1998, we went possing about in rowing boats on Lough Corrib on the North side of the Dooras Peninsula, M0850 & M0851. There are lots of little islands, some being a small rock less than 10m across and others decapitated drumlins covered in young woodland with shoals of small cobbles by the shore. The composition of the flora is the fairly normal Lecanoretum subfuscae association with some Parmelietum perlatae, and a relict Lobarion element from old oak trees. One of the characteristics of this part of Ireland is the constancy of Lecanora jamesii, Fuscidea lightfootii, Caloplaca ferruginea and Japewia carrollii with Lecidella elaeochroma, Arthonia radiata, Lecanora chlarotera and various other crusts on the fine branches. Evernia prunastri, Normandina pulchella, Parmelia exasperata, P. perlata, P. revoluta, P. saxatilis, P. sulcata, P. subaurifera, P. subrudecta, Physcia aipolia, P. tenella, Ramalina calicaris, R. farinacea, Usnea subfloridana and Xanthoria parietina are the main epiphytic macrolichens on slightly larger branches. Physconia distorta, Ramalina fraxinea appear to be later colonists, joining the flora of larger trees. On the lakeshore bird perch rocks, Candelariella vitellina, Caloplaca crenularia, Lecanora albescens, L. campestris infested with Muellerella pygmaea v. athallina (nvcr), L. dispersa, L. muralis, Ochrolechia parella, Physcia caesia, P. tenella, Ramalina cuspidata and Xanthoria parietina are regulars on large blocks. After making lists for several islands, we rowed ashore.
Saturday was another undemanding nice day which we spent at Rosshill M1057 on the shores of Lough Mask. After taking the wrong path, we finally arrived at the intended spot with Solorina spongiosa, S. saccata, Collema undulata f. granulosa (nvcr), Peltigera rufescens and Karsteniomyces peltigerae (new to Ireland). The remarkable karst ‘Lough Mask holes’ were demonstrated by Dr Mike Simms who explained their formation. Limestone outcrops next to the calcareous lakeshore fens with Hymenelia prevostii (nvcr), Collema polycarpon and so on were very interesting. Rounded siliceous boulders, glacial dropstones forming depressions in the karst pavement, provided a totally distinct niche for Hymenelia lacustris, Micarea erratica, Ochrolechia parella and Rhizocarpon lavatum.
On Sunday morning 3 May on the advice of Marianne Whilde, the party remaining decided to visit a top quality dry karst site, E of Oughterard in the townlands of Corranellistrum (M1940) and Kylemore, not to be confused with Larbalestier’s home turf in the 1870s at Kylemore, Letterfrack. This site supported a range of calcicolous crusts such as Petractis clausa, Thelidium incavatum, Verrucaria dufourii, V. pinguicula, V. caerulea, Acrocordia conoidea, V. nigrescens, V. glaucina, V. hochstetteri, V. parmigerella, Staurothele rupifraga, Polyblastia deminuta, Placynthium nigrum, the much overlooked lichenicolous Caloplaca cf. polycarpa on Verrucaria baldensis, Aspicilia calcarea, Farnoldia jurana, Clauzadea immersa, Cl. metzleri, Lecania cuprea, Caloplaca flavescens, Dermatocarpon miniatum, Gyalecta jenensis, Cladonia pocillum, Cl. rangiformis, Toninia aromatica and so on. The party dispersed in mid-afternoon.
Before the meeting, I visited the folded metamorphic limestone at Knocknagur L9253 and found Placidiopsis cartilaginea (nvcr). After the meeting, one other site of particular interest was visited in Connemara, H16, at Shanvallycahill, M0462, Toormakeady, now in Co. Mayo. A site with a subfossil forest of pine stumps supported an interesting lichen flora with Cetraria aculeata, Hypogymnia physodes, H. tubulosa, Parmelia caperata, P. saxatilis, P. sulcata, Platismatia glauca, with Hypocenomyce scalaris (nvcr), Mycoblastus sanguinarius, Lichenoconium erodens, Tremella hypogymniae (nvcr) and Pronectria anisospora (nvcr).
After getting our bearings on the first day, we concentrated on recording in specific lichen habitats in all the sites. The richest oceanic wood in Connaught, Derryclare wood National Nature Reserve fulfilled expectations with 150+ spp, from where we added 10 species to the vice-county list. The Kylemore – Corranellistrim limestone pavement, 8km ESE of Oughterard, is a superb area which supports the typical Burren limestone lichen flora (McCarthy & Mitchell 1988). The highlight of the meeting for most participants was the superb coastal heathland on Gorumna, Lettermullan & Crappagh, with South Connemara Group amphibolite rocks yielding some 200-250 spp. without undue effort. This area has a relatively low rainfall for western Ireland (c. 1000 mm p.a.) and seems to be somewhat warmer than the rest of Connemara. The southern element is undoubtedly better developed than we recorded and several crustose lichens more familiar on coastlines of SW England should turn up in due course.
Overall the Connemara meeting was a relaxed and useful tour. Participants saw over half the 700 lichens and lichenicolous fungi now known in the region. More than 30 vice-county additions were made during the fieldtrip and on preparatory and followup daytrips. We all left with a much better understanding of the composition of lichen habitats in the Connemara landscape.

Howard Fox, 10 x 1998.

Reprinted from the Bulletin of the British Lichen Society 83: 30-36 (1998).