Monday, 19 October 2015

Lichens of Morwell National Park

By Simone Louwhoff

For those interested in lichens, there is now a brochure on the Lichens of Morwell National Park with 83 images of common and/or conspicuous lichens including Peltigera dolichorhiza, Xanthoria parietina, Usnea and Cladonia species, Pertusaria pertractata, Ramalina celastri and many others that people will recognise in the field.

The brochure is 10 x 22 cm and is printed on glossy, high quality paper. It consists of 12 panels of which 9 have photos of lichens, grouped according to growth form and/or colour (crustose, fruticose, light foliose and dark foliose). These are interspersed with text boxes containing facts about some of the lichen groups mentioned.

       Xanthoria parientina         
   (Ken Harris)      
A map of the park, showing tracks and vegetation categories (EVCs) takes up two panels and the last panel has general information on lichens, terminology and useful websites. The brochure is suitable for other areas with similar habitat to that found at Morwell National Park (Ecological Vegetation Classes: damp forest, herb-rich foothill forest, swamp scrub, warm temperate rainforest and wet forest).

Usnea inermis 
      (Ken Harris)   

Text is by Simone Louwhoff, photos by Ken Harris and Helga Binder was the graphic designer. The brochure is for sale in the Fungimapbookshop for $5 and proceeds go to Fungimap, South East Australian Naturalists’ Association Inc. (SEANNA), Latrobe Valley Field Naturalist Club Inc. and Friends of Morwell National Park Inc. We hope you enjoy using it!

The brochure is a culmination of fieldwork undertaken from 2007 to 2012 at Morwell National Park. The park is situated in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges, 8 km SE of Churchill in the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland (South-eastern Victoria). It was declared in 1967 and extended in 1987 and is now close to 500 hectares in size. Despite its small size, Morwell National Park contains a range of different habitats including wet fern gullies, dry eucalypt ridges and steep hillsides with tall eucalypt forest.

     Cladonia humilis (Ken Harris)   

The overall aim of the project was to identify and record all macrolichens and the more common and/or conspicuous microlichens and to publish this information. Thirteen tracks intersect the Park, which were divided into sections for ease of surveying. All vegetation, as well as rock and soil in each of these sections were examined for lichens and these were either identified on the spot or collected for identification with a microscope back at the laboratory. Lichens on trees were surveyed up to a height that was accessible (approx 2 m) and in addition any fallen trees in sections were examined to look for canopy lichens. 

Pertusaria pertractata (Ken Harris)

Lichens were recorded photographically for each section and entered into a database which is accessible via a website maintained by the Friends of MorwellNational Park. It is estimated that the surveying method has resulted in the recording of almost all macrolichens and up to 75% of microlichens occurring in the park. The latter are often inconspicuous and also more difficult to identify and hence it is likely that a number of these lichens will remain unidentified for now. 
          Peltigera dolichorhiza (Ken Harris)          

No comments:

Post a Comment