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Cladonia furcata

Cladonia furcata

Description:

Like other lichens in the genus Cladonia, the fruiting body of C. furcata is made of a flattened primary thallus and a secondary upright stalk that forms the secondary thallus. The secondary thallus – the podetium – is extensively branched, and may reach up to 10 centimetres tall. The podetia ranges in color from grayish or pale green to brown. The axil, the inner junction of a branchlet with a branch or with another branchlet, is open, with inrolled branches, and frequently with a longitudinal groove that extends down the podetium from the axil. The fertile (reproductive) branches of this lichen are more or less flattened, and often grooved. C. furcata does not have the vegetative reproductive structures soredia and isidia, but instead has apothecia—cup-like ascocarps that contain asci on which ascospores are borne. The apothecia are brown, small, and borne at the end of the branche

Habitat:

C. furcata is most commonly found in forests near coastlines, at low to mid elevations. It may be found growing on moss, humus, and soil, more rarely on rotten wood or at the base of trees. This one was found on moss and sandy soil in a relatively humid area, in a pine tree (pinus pinea and pinus pinaster) and Holm oak forest

Notes:

Polysaccharides isolated from C. furcata were shown to induce cell death (apoptosis) in human leukemia K562 cells. Furthermore, C. furcata polysaccharides decreased the activity of telomerase, an enzyme that helps some cancer cells avoid death; this activity suggests possible therapeutic potential in the treatment of cancer. Camera Model: NIKON D300 Exposure Time: 2 sec. f/32.0 ISO Speed Rating: 200 Focal Length: 90.0 mm Flash fired

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Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Lat: 40.54, Long: -3.69

Spotted on Mar 1, 2012
Submitted on Mar 6, 2012

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