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Name: Virginia
Status: educator
Grade: K-3
Location: NV
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2013


Question:
On a hike today I noticed bright green/yellow lichen growing in evenly spaced rings up the trunks of five slender fir trees standing next to one another, There were many examples of lichen on the hike but I have never seen such perfectly ringed growth up the trunk of a tree. Any explanation?



Replies:
Hi Virginia,

Thanks for the question. It is a very curious observation. I speculate that the lichen pattern may be due to the tree bark's growth. I further speculate that the lichen growth pattern may be due to growth pattern of the tree.

I hope this helps. I am not an expert on botany, but please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff


Foliose lichens (many species) have radial growth patterns, forming circles on tree trunks, etc.

http://www.concord.org/~btinker/gaiamatters/investigations/lichens/typeslichens.html

such as the genus Flavoparmelia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavoparmelia_caperata

Sincerely,\ Anthony R. Brach, PhD Harvard University Herbaria



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