Ochrolechia pallescens (L.) A. Massal.

An epiphytic, richly fertile lichen with conspicuous, white-pruinose apothecia. It has been reported from most European countries. It is a species of open, well-lit forests and avenues. In the Czech Republic, the lichen is very rare, with only a few historical records, which need to be verified owing to possible confusion with other genus members. Although there are no recent data published from the country, the lichen was recorded in the 1990s on a solitary tree in a now disappeared village in higher part of the Šumava Mts (R. Dětinský, unpubl.). In the past, various Ochrolechia species often forming fruiting bodies (O. parella, O. tartarea, O. upsaliensis) were reported from the Czech Republic, but their occurrence in the country has been concluded to be unlikely (see the Catalogue by Vězda & Liška 1999). Potentially possible is the presence of species of natural moist forests, such as O. szatalaensis, which differs from O. pallescens in the lack of gyrophoric acid in the pruina on fruiting bodies. However, the absence of gyrophoric acid is also typical for the richly fruiting specimens of O. alboflavescens, known to occur in some peat bogs in the Šumava Mts, that sometimes completely lack soredia.

The relationship of the saxicolous O. parella and O. pallescens has not been definitively resolved yet, and it is unclear whether in continental Europe occurs the same taxon as in the oceanic parts of the continent. In the British Isles, the taxon O. pallescens is not accepted at all (Fletcher et al. 2009) although Kukwa (2009) reports it from a number of localities there. Epiphytic occurrences are considered to be O. parella. Morphologically and chemically, the two species are almost indistinguishable. Small differences were found in pruina crystals (Kukwa 2009).

Literature: Fletcher A., James P. W. & Purvis O. W. (2009): Ochrolechia A.Massal. (1852). – In: Smith C. et al. [eds], The Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland, p. 626–631, The British Lichen Society, London. Kukwa M. (2009): The lichen genus Ochrolechia in Poland III with a key and notes on some taxa. – Herzogia 22: 43–66.

taxonomic classification:

Ascomycota Lecanoromycetes Pertusariales Ochrolechiaceae Ochrolechia

Red List (Liška & Palice 2010):CR – critically endangered
Red List (Malíček 2023):A – no recent data

Occurrence in the Czech Republic

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