Usnea perplexans is better-known under the recently abandoned name U. lapponica. It is very similar to U. substerilis but distinguished by deep empty soralia reaching the central axis and wrapped-up cortex around them (Clerc & Naciri 2021). However, the soralia appearance is sometimes ambiguous and the specimens are difficult to identify. Both species belong to a morphologically variable and phylogenetically still unresolved lineage Usnea barbata-intermedia-lapponica-substerilis (Clerc & Naciri 2021). Some recent authors have synonymized U. perplexans with U. substerilis (e.g., Mark et al. 2016). Usnea perplexans is widely distributed in Europe, mainly with a boreal-montane distribution. It grows in forests on both deciduous and coniferous trees. Its distribution in the Czech Republic is little known because of confusion with U. substerilis.
Literature: Clerc P. & Naciri Y. (2021): Usnea dasopoga (Ach.) Nyl. and U. barbata (L.) F. H. Wigg. (Ascomycetes, Parmeliaceae) are two different species: A plea for reliable identifications in molecular studies. – Lichenologist 53: 221–230. Mark K., Saag L., Leavitt S. D., Will-Wolf S., Nelsen M. P., Tõrra T., Saag A., Randlane T. & Lumbsch H. T. (2016): Evaluation of traditionally circumscribed species in the lichen-forming genus Usnea, section Usnea (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) using a six-locus dataset. – Organisms Diversity and Evolution 16: 497–524.taxonomic classification: most frequented synonyms:Usnea lapponica
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