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In 1988 the macrolichen species richness and elemental concentrations in Hypogymnia physodes thalli were surveyed at four equally-spaced study areas along a 160-km west-to-east atmospheric deposition gradient in north-central Pennsylvania. There was significantly lower lichen species richness in the western, higher deposition half of the gradient and significantly higher elemental concentrations at the western study areas. The same study sites were revisited in 2004 to determine if spatial-temporal changes in lichen richness and elemental concentrations had occurred in the ensuing 16 years. By 2004 lichen richness had increased in the western portion of the gradient to be nearly equal that of the eastern portion of the gradient. Lichen elemental concentrations generally decreased at all study sites, with the greatest reduction in the western sites. These changes are likely a response to air quality improvements resulting from the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Lichens are useful indicators of air quality and can provide strong biological confirmation of air quality improvement.
Acroscyphus sphaerophoroides is reported new to the lichen flora of Alaska and represents the most northerly sighting worldwide. Locations were clustered on north and south alpine ridges above Greens Creek on north Admiralty Island, southeastern Alaska.
A fairly common species of oceanic forests in Oregon has long been filed under Graphina sp. The purpose of this paper is to resolve the disposition of this species. The Pacific Northwest taxon is here identified with Graphis pergracilis (Zahlbr.) Lücking & A. W. Archer, previously known from the Paleotropics. A similar European taxon previously known under the name Graphina anguina auct. and Graphis britannica Staiger is here renamed G. inustuloides Lücking, after discovering that the nomenclature of this species has been misapplied. Graphis pergracilis and G. inustuloides have very similar ascospores but differ morphologically, the first representing a typical Graphis with lineola-type lirellae, whereas the second resembles the genera Phaeographis and Platygramme in lirellae morphology.
Parmeliopsis esorediata (Degel.) Nordnes was first described in 1956 as a non-sorediate variety of the wide-ranging boreal sorediate P. hyperopia. It was considered endemic to subalpine areas of southern Norway until a 2004 collection was made in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Here, we report P. esorediata for the first time for North America, from the Gaff Topsails region of western Newfoundland, Canada. This high-elevation region is similar bioclimatically to those in Norway and Russia where P. esorediata occurs. We review the status of this globally rare lichen and P. hyperopia as a “species pair”. Whether they have an ancestor-descendant relationship, or whether P. esorediata has arisen sporadically and repeatedly, should now be amenable to resolution with molecular phylogenetic methods.