Tuesday 21 May
Lichen (Calicium corynellum)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Lichen fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
This species is commonly called a 'pin-head' lichen as the fruiting bodies (the structures that produce the lichen's spores) are shaped rather like black pins, or tiny wine cups. The part of the lichen forming the main body of the organism is called the 'thallus'. On C. corynellum this is a bright yellow-green and powdery in appearance.
- Height of fruiting bodies: 1- 2 mm
All species of Calicium lichen have fruiting bodies, which decompose when ripe into a mass of spores. As they are small, they are often overlooked, and the best way of identifying the different species is by examining the thallus or main body of the lichen. However, as some species remain concealed within the wood or bark of trees, this can prove difficult.Lichens are fascinating things, being a partnership between two different types of organism. In most examples, this is an alga, and a fungus. The fungus is the part of the lichen we usually see as it makes up the main body of the organism. However, the alga - unlike the fungus - is capable of manufacturing its own food by photosynthesis. The fungus provides the alga with a place to live and the fungus takes some of the carbohydrates produced as a result of the photosynthesis. While it is believed that many of the algae that form one half of the lichen can live independently, it is also thought that many - if not all - of the fungi in the partnerships could not exist without their particular alga.Top
C. corynellum is known from three sites in the UK. It is known from two sites in north-east England, on a church wall and on a sloping tombstone, and also one site in Scotland. It is also scattered across Europe and Canada.Top
In its known UK sites, the lichen grows on a damp, north-facing church wall, on both the sandstone blocks and the mortar bonding the blocks together, and also on a number of tombstones. In Europe, the lichen is found on the underside of silica-rich rock overhangs.Top
Classified as Critically Endangered in the UK.Top
The biggest threat to this lichen is its extremely limited range in the UK. Since it was discovered in 1972, the lichen has decreased in area by 90 per cent on the church wall. Those growing on the tombstones are threatened by churchyard tidying schemes, cleaning of the individual gravestone and similar activities.Top
Calicium corynellum is listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plans and included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme. One of its sites is on the stones of a Saxon Church tower in Northumberland, but by 1992 it had dwindled to a few traces on five stones. Through the Species Recovery Programme, some detective work unearthed the fact that a large stone had been removed from the base of the tower and replaced with gravel, stopping cascading rain from a drainpipe splashing on the wall. The reduction in the moisture level was killing the lichen. English Nature paid for a slab to be replaced and now it is hoped that the lichen will recover.Top
Information supplied by English Nature.
- Fruiting bodies
- A differentiated spore bearing structure.
- Metabolic process characteristic of plants in which carbon dioxide is broken down, using energy from sunlight absorbed by the green pigment chlorophyll. Organic compounds are made and oxygen is given off as a by-product.
- Microscopic particles involved in both dispersal and reproduction. They comprise a single or group of unspecialised cells and do not contain an embryo, as do seeds.
- Type of simple plant body that does not have stems, leaves and roots.
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.