Rare lichen discovery

Highland stump lichen (Cladonia botrytes) found at Invercauld Estate in Aberdeenshire

News from Forest Research: September 2010

Highland stump lichen (Cladonia botrytes)
Photo courtesy of Håkon Holien

While out in the field updating his lichen identification skills, Forest Research worker Bo Duff was lucky enough to spot a rare sample of Highland stump lichen (Cladonia botrytes) at Invercauld Estate in Aberdeenshire.

This lichen grows on pinus stumps between 4 and 10 years old, generally in northern Scotland. It is so small it is difficult to trace and identify and has not been seen in the area for over 50 years, despite extensive surveys by lichenologists. Bo’s lecturers on the day included eminent lichenologist Dr Coppins of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, who was able to verify the find instantly.

Says Bo:

“I’m out in the field all the time as I usually work on the Native Woodlands Survey of Scotland, but I never imagined I’d find something as rare as this!”

This find signals a welcome return of Cladonia botrytes to the Braemar area.

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This and other news stories can be found in the September 2010 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.