Rare lichens discovery in the Netherlands


This video is called Lichen, the most awesome thing ever.

Dutch news agency ANP reports about a discovery of several rare lichen species near Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

In nature reserve Heumensoord, the very rare Cladonia callosa was found. Maybe, Heumensoord is the most important place in the world for this species.

Other Heumensoord lichen species: Dibaeis baeomyces; Baeomyces rufus; Pycnothelia papillaria; and Cladonia strepsilis.

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New lichen species discovery in the Netherlands


The orange spots on this photo are the new species Oxneria huculica, photo by Michiel Sytsma

When Dutch nature guide Michiel Sytsma cycled between Ede and Veenendaal, he saw an unusual lichen species on five trees.

He photographed this. It turned out that Mr Sytsma had discovered a species, new for the Netherlands: Oxneria huculica.

The species now has a Dutch name: dragonderdooiermos, dragoon lichen. This is because the lichen was found at the Dragonderweg, dragoon road, in Ede. And also because the orange colour of the lichen is similar to the orange in the uniforms of the dragoons after whom that road was named.

These dragoons of the British army, commanded by “the grand old Duke of York“, were in that area in 1794-1795. They were supposed to stop the French army from invading the Dutch republic, allies of the United Kingdom. However, when the French army approached, the dragoons fled without firing a shot.

Reminding me of the song about the grand old Duke of York.

This music video from Britain is called The Grand Old Duke Of York; Children’s Animation.

According to Wikipedia:

The Grand Old Duke of York’ (also sung as The Noble Duke of York) is an English children’s nursery rhyme, often performed as an action song. The Duke of the title has been argued to be a number of the holders of that office, particularly Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763–1827) and its lyrics have become proverbial for futile action. …

The most common modern version is:

Oh, The grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.

And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only half-way up,
They were neither up nor down.

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New nature reserve in Wales


This video from Wales is called Gregynog Hall 2012.

From Wildlife Extra:

New National Nature Reserve created in Mid Wales

Mid Wales cultural centre becomes Wales’ newest National Nature Reserve

March 2013. Gregynog, near Newtown, is to become Wales’ newest National Nature Reserve (NNR).
Gregynog is a large country hall in the village of Tregynon, near Newtown. Owned by the University of Wales, the Hall is surrounded by 750 acres of grounds. The NNR designation confirms the estate of Gregynog as one of Wales’ most important sites for ancient parkland and wood-pasture habitats, veteran trees, and nationally important lichens, insects, and other wildlife, supported by these rare habitats.

Dr Maggie Hill, CCW’s Director for South and East Wales said: “Gregynog is designated because of the rich mosaic of parkland and ancient woodlands in the grounds of the hall. Gregynog has one of the largest examples of ancient woodland in Wales, aptly named the Great Wood. Some of the oak trees here are over 350 years old.

“But it is not just the trees themselves that are important; rare lichens cover the bark of the gnarled ancient oak and ash trees. One of these is the lichen Lecanora sublivescens which can be found on the sunlit tree trunks at Gregynog. This species is scarce on a world scale – and is only known to be here in the UK and in Southern Sweden.”

Insects

The insects also make the Gregynog estate a very special place for wildlife, with the larvae of many beetles and flies living in the dead and decaying wood of Gregynog’s large trees and standing and fallen dead trees. There are some strange creatures living this way of life; including a small oval brown beetle known as the cobweb beetle (Ctesias serra) which only feeds on the dry remains of dead insects that have been caught in spider webs under very dry bark! Many of these insects then emerge from the wood as adults and some of the brightly coloured longhorn beetles and hoverflies can be seen feeding on the nectar and pollen of the blossoming hawthorns and other shrubs and flowers.

The NNR declaration also highlights Gregynog as a place where the public can come to enjoy the countryside. There are a number of footpaths through the parkland – walking routes that have recently been mapped, upgraded and way-marked, through a partnership project between Gregynog and CCW, to make it easier for everyone to enjoy walking here.

Wildlife

Visitors can see a vast range of wildlife – from hares to breeding birds like the wood warbler, pied flycatcher and redstart; to great crested newts and dragonflies in and around the many ponds. Gregynog also supports good numbers of bats, and provides feeding areas for the important lesser# horseshoe bat. Interpretation panels full of information about the wildlife are dotted around the estate.

Karen Armstrong, Director at Gregynog said: “Work has already begun to remove all invasive Rhododendron to improve the woodlands, and also to explore options for enhancing the existing parkland areas by restoring nearby conifer blocks to native broadleaf woodland and ensuring that the next generation of trees in the parkland can become established.”

Birds help lichen grow


This video from England says about itself:

Murmuration of starlings coming together to roost. Filmed Nov 2009 on the A69 a few miles west of Haydon Bridge, Northumberland.

Translated from Vroege Vogels radio in the Netherlands:

Lichen loves poop

Ecologist Peter Bremer discovered it by accident: some lichen species like starlings. The droppings of the birds cause some ammonia-loving lichen species to really like roofs used by starlings as a resting place or a singing spot.

Common orange lichen benefits

Especially the common orange lichen (Xanthoria parietina) benefits from the bird droppings. Peter Bremer did his research in a Zwolle neighbourhood, full of houses with concrete tiles. These are ideal for investigation of the relationship between lichens and songbirds. Concrete is a more suitable substrate for lichens than ceramics. Also on the chimneys common orange lichen was found. In the district where Bremer did his research 14 different bird species used the roofs. But starlings were really the most prominent.

Extinct lichen species found again in The Netherlands


Pycnothelia papillaria

Translated from national park De Hoge Veluwe in the eastern Netherlands:

In the Park, nipple lichen has been discovered during an investigation of sand dunes by the universities of Amsterdam, Wageningen and Nijmegen in various sand dune areas in The Netherlands, including the Hoge Veluwe.

This lichen had recently become extinct in The Netherlands; however, now it has been found again in the Park.

It is a small specimen, less than one square decimeter in size.

Nipple lichen (Pycnothelia papillaria) is a mountain species, which is in trouble because of global warming.

Also, acidification and too much fertilizer has really hurt the species.

Probably, the species will not last long at De Hoge Veluwe; yet, finding it is spectacular.

There are many lichens at De Hoge Veluwe.

Many of its open plains are so called lichen steppes, which have become rare in western Europe.

Radio Kootwijk on the Veluwe: here.