Usnea Kingdom: Fungi Divison: Ascomycota Class: Lecanoromycetes Order: Lecanorales Family: Parmeliaceae Genus: Usnea
Field Notes for Lichens It was a blustery and frigid day out on Wednesday afternoon at Massabesic Middle School. Mr. P science class went outside to find lichens, which is a way to find out how healthy an ecosystem is. Our previous mission was to find animal tracks in the newly fallen snow. But since the rain fall last night most tracks were washed away. It was, like I said, frigid! It was a little more than above freezing, 3ºC! Wind gusts were up to 42 Kilometers per hour! Although it was not below freezing the wind made it feel like that. The cold would have made us not look as hard but not after what we saw once we walked in the woods. Before we even entered the woods, you could see it all over! So much for a polluted area! The lichen was growing on dead trees, live trees, oak and pine trees. It was growing everywhere! Green lichens, white lichens, even lichens that looked like grass! There was lichen everywhere in every different form and shape which means, loads to identify. I have chosen the green grass like lichen, it was a greenish-white color. I found it pretty deep in the woods with a little shade but light was coming through the trees. It was standing up straight or fruticose with one strong core which was very short and then falling down with many, many weaker veins in it. On the edges of those you have hair like strands falling off. It goes up first and then falls outward. We found it growing on a tree and branches with many other lichen types around it. I am ready to figure out what it was and I am ready to start searching! After just a little bit of research, I have found a possible species! It’s called Beard Lichen! It grows on trees like it and it looks the same. I am ready to continue research to see if it grows in Maine! With a little more research and little help I have found that Beard Lichen does grow in Maine. I think that this is Beard Lichen.