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Extra resources for A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands

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Chemistry: All spot tests negative. Comments: This is a nitrogen-fixing lichen. Leptogium and Collema have much in common and are sometimes difficult to distinguish in the field, especially when they are moist and swollen. However, Leptogium species do not enlarge when wet as much as Collema species. On the whole, species of Leptogium are grayer (often steel-gray) or more reddish brown when dry, with a smoother, more skin-like texture. Collema is never as shiny, probably because it has Elevation no upper cortex.

2 2a) Thallus wholly sorediate, white, gray, or greenish....................... Lepraria spp. 2b) Thallus lacking soredia, various colors............................................................ 2 mm diameter; appearing as discolored dirt growing on mineral soils.......................................................................... Thrombium epigaeum 3b) Thallus with larger apothecia present......................................................... 4 4a) Thallus whitish to pale grayish, thin; colonies small (generally < 3 cm); apothecial disks blackish to olive-green, sometimes with yellowish or greenish tinge; rare and inconspicuous, most often found on decaying organic matter infused with soil as well as on old rabbit dung or on mineral soils............................

Spores 4 per ascus, many-celled, large (18-32 × 6-15 µm). Photobiont green (Trebouxia). Habitat: On non-calcareous soils and mosses or parasitic on Cladonia species. Chemistry: C+ pink to red, K+ yellow to purple, P-. Comments: Diploschistes muscorum is found throughout the North American aridlands, at all elevations and especially at northerly latitudes on non-calcareous soils and may also occur at rather low altitudes. It commonly co-occurs with Cladonia fimbriata or C. chlorophaea, which it may initially parasitize, and Acarospora schleicheri, which may parasitize it.

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