Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Collema tenax

Introductory

SPECIES: Collema tenax
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Matthews, Robin F. 1993. Collema tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ []. Revisions : 12 September 2013: Common name provided and Postfire Regeneration Strategies section added ABBREVIATION : COLTEN SYNONYMS : Collema cristatellum Collema pulposum NRCS PLANT CODE : COTE60 COMMON NAMES : jelly lichen black lichen desert lichen TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of jelly lichen is Collema tenax (Swartz) Ach. (Collemaceae) [9,10,12,16,32]. The following varieties are recognized: Collema tenax var. ceranoides (Borrer) Degel. [9,10] Collema tenax var. corallinum (Massal.) Degel. [10,32] Collema tenax var. crustaceum (Krempelh.) Degel. [10] Collema tenax var. expansum Degel. Collema tenax var. tenax [32]LIFE FORM : Lichen FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Collema tenax
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Thomson [32] referred to jelly lichen as a circumpolar species in arctic to temperate regions. In North America, jelly lichen is known to occur from Alberta and Saskatchewan south through the Great Plains to Texas and the Southwest [9,23,33]. Fink [12] also places it in the eastern United States west to Missouri and Minnesota. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES29 Sagebrush FRES30 Desert shrub FRES31 Shinnery FRES32 Texas savanna FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES39 Prairie FRES40 Desert grasslands STATES : AZ CA CO ID IA KS MT NE NV NM ND OK OR SD TX UT WY AB SK MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K024 Juniper steppe woodland K027 Mesquite bosque K031 Oak - juniper woodlands K032 Transition between K031 and K037 K033 Chaparral K037 Mountain-mahogany - oak scrub K038 Great Basin sagebrush K039 Blackbrush K040 Saltbush - greasewood K041 Creosotebush K042 Creosotebush - bursage K043 Paloverde - cactus shrub K044 Creosotebush - tarbush K045 Ceniza shrub K046 Desert: vegetation largely lacking K048 California steppe K050 Fescue - wheatgrass K051 Wheatgrass - bluegrass K053 Grama - galleta steppe K054 Grama - tobosa prairie K055 Sagebrush steppe K056 Wheatgrass - needlegrass shrubsteppe K057 Galleta - three-awn shrubsteppe K058 Grama - tobosa shrubsteppe K059 Trans-Pecos shrub savanna K060 Mesquite savanna K061 Mesquite - acacia savanna K062 Mesquite - live oak savanna K063 Foothills prairie K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass K065 Grama - buffalograss K066 Wheatgrass - needlegrass K067 Wheatgrass - bluestem - needlegrass K068 Wheatgrass - grama - buffalograss K069 Bluestem - grama prairie K070 Sandsage - bluestem prairie K071 Shinnery K074 Bluestem prairie K075 Nebraska Sandhills prairie K076 Blackland prairie K085 Mesquite - buffalograss K086 Juniper - oak savanna K087 Mesquite - oak savanna K088 Fayette prairie SAF COVER TYPES : 67 Mohrs ("shin") oak 68 Mesquite 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 238 Western juniper 239 Pinyon - juniper 241 Western live oak 242 Mesquite SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Jelly lichen most likely occurs in ecosystems, Kuchler Plant Associations, and SAF Cover Types in addition to those listed above. However, information on other habitats where jelly lichen may be found is lacking. Common associates of jelly lichen in desert shrub or desert grassland habitats include shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia), black greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus), creosotebush (Larrea tridentata), white burrobush (Hymenoclea salsola), Mormon tea (Ephedra torreyana), sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.), red brome (Bromus rubens), galleta (Hilaria jamesii), needle-and-thread grass (Stipa comata), Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides), bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda), sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus), moss (Tortula ruralis), and lichens [18,21,26].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Collema tenax
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : NO-ENTRY PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Cryptogamic soil crusts, including crusts formed by jelly lichen, are an important component of many arid rangeland ecosystems in the western United States [17]. Where cryptogam crusts are highly developed, the soil surface is almost always highly stable [8]. They are important in the reduction of soil erosion, and facilitate vascular plant seedling establishment by improving water penetration and reducing runoff [17,18]. Components that are capable of nitrogen fixation, such as C. tenax, contribute a significant amount to the total soil nitrogen, especially in arid soils [21,29]. Soils having high electrical conductivity, high phosphorous, and high salt contents facilitate the formation of cryptogam crusts [3]. Heavy grazing, especially during seasons of low precipitation, high temperatures, and persistent winds can seriously damage or destroy crusts formed by jelly lichen and other cryptogams. During these seasons, jelly lichen is usually dormant and brittle, and susceptible to trampling by livestock [4]. Vascular plant communities may appear well managed and healthy, while cryptogamic crusts are being severely disturbed. Managers of arid lands should be cautious about accepting sparse cryptogamic cover as natural [20]. Cryptogam analysis can be useful in evaluating the quality of grassland management [21]. In Navaho National Monument, Arizona, jelly lichen was reduced from 0.8 percent cover in ungrazed areas to 0.4 percent cover in heavily grazed areas. Although its cover was reduced, jelly lichen did not react to grazing pressure as severely as other cryptogams in the study area [8]. Cryptogamic soil crusts, including crusts formed by jelly lichen, are an important component of many arid rangeland ecosystems in the western United States [17]. Where cryptogam crusts are highly developed, the soil surface is almost always highly stable [8]. They are important in the reduction of soil erosion, and facilitate vascular plant seedling establishment by improving water penetration and reducing runoff [17,18]. Components such as jelly lichen that are capable of nitrogen fixation contribute a significant amount to the total soil nitrogen, especially in arid soils [21,29]. Soils having high electrical conductivity, high phosphorous, and high salt contents facilitate the formation of cryptogam crusts [3]. Heavy grazing, especially during seasons of low precipitation, high temperatures, and persistent winds can seriously damage or destroy crusts formed by jelly lichen and other cryptogams. During these seasons, jelly lichen is usually dormant and brittle, and susceptible to trampling by livestock [4]. Vascular plant communities may appear well managed and healthy while cryptogamic crusts are being severely disturbed. Managers of arid lands should be cautious about accepting sparse cryptogamic cover as natural [20]. Cryptogam analysis can be useful in evaluating the quality of grassland management [21]. In Navaho National Monument, Arizona, jelly lichen was reduced from 0.8 percent cover in ungrazed areas to 0.4 percent cover in heavily grazed areas. Although its cover was reduced, jelly lichen did not react to grazing pressure as severely as other cryptogams in the study area [8]. In Utah, cryptogam crusts recovered from grazing within 14 to 17 years after grazing was eliminated [4]. Jelly lichen recovers rapidly from grazing [31]. In semiarid and arid grasslands of Canyonlands National Park, Utah, cryptogams, including jelly lichen, are instrumental in the build-up of organic matter and soil nutrients. Cryptogam cover stabilizes soils eroded by heavy winds and torrential rains, especially in undisturbed areas [21]. Relative abundance of jelly lichen was "significantly" less in formerly grazed areas compared to areas of undisturbed climax grasslands. The ungrazed areas of the park had an average of six cryptogam species per site, with total cryptogram coverage of 38 percent. The disturbed or formerly grazed areas had an average of two cryptogam species per site, with a total coverage of 5 percent. This difference suggests that cryptogam species such as jelly lichen may play a more important role in the stability of desert grasslands than previously recognized. The formerly grazed areas had less organic matter, less available phosphorous, and higher calcium content of surface soils due to slow sheet erosion due to lack of protection from an established cryptogam cover [20]. Lichens are widely used as indicators of air pollution or air quality. These poikilohydric plants are extremely sensitive to atmospheric contaminants, especially sulfur dioxide, because they absorb moisture as water vapor. Nitrogenase activity and photosynthetic rates of jelly lichen are severely inhibited by sulfur dioxide. Nitrogen fixation is reduced at fluoride and lead concentrations as low as 0.01 parts per million. When jelly lichen and other nitrogen-fixing lichens are abundant in nitrogen-poor grassland soils, any loss of fixed nitrogen due to reduction of fixation rates by contaminants would probably reduce yields of rangeland grasses [29].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Collema tenax
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Jelly lichen is a foliose, terricolous lichen with a thick thallus that is variable in size. It is usually dark olive green or black in color [9,32]. Apothecia are small [12]. The photosynthetic symbiont (Nostoc commune Vauch.) is capable of nitrogen fixation [7]. Jelly lichen is drought and desiccation tolerant [1]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : NO-ENTRY REGENERATION PROCESSES : Lichen reproduction mainly occurs by means of thallus fragmentation or the dispersal of isidia and soredia. Wind, water, or animals play an important role in the dispersal of these vegetative propagules [1,15,27]. Jelly lichen also produces small apothecia [12,32]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Lichens, including jelly lichen, are very dependent on high relative humidity, and their abundance is generally in direct relation to the relative humidity. Lichens grow best in direct sun. Since jelly lichen is able to take up moisture from the air, the underlying soil is not as important a source of moisture as it is to vascular plants. Lichens can grow on shallow, sterile soils [2]. Jelly lichen is referred to as a ubiquitous indicator of basic soils [28]. In the Intermountain region, it is best developed on gypsiferous soils of the Colorado Plateau and on calcareous soils of the Great Basin [31]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Lichens may be pioneers on some sites because they are dependent on air moisture rather than soil moisture, and can tolerate shallow substrata. They persist in environments too harsh for higher plants, provided relative humidityis sufficiently high for lichen growth and temperature is sufficiently low to inhibit competitors [2]. Collema tenax is often a primary colonizer of disturbed soils [28]. In the Swan Valley, Montana, it is most often found on disturbed sites [25]. Jelly lichen is also abundant in climax grassland and shrub habitats [17,18,19,20]. It is the most prevalent lichen on both grazed and ungrazed areas of Canyonlands National Park, Utah [20]. Jelly lichen had the following relative abundance and cover percentage during successive stages of recovery from grazing (first samples were taken 5 years after grazing pressure had been eliminated [19]: Year Sampled Relative Abundance Cover (%) ___________________________________________________________________________ Ungrazed 1967 9710 19.0 Grazed 1967 5548 3.80 Grazed 1977 4880 6.65 In Camp Floyd State Park, Utah, jelly lichen constituted 3.0 and 6.2 percent of the cover in areas not grazed for 7 and 20 years, respectively [17]. Cryptogamic soil crusts, including those formed by jelly lichen, are common in seral rabbitbrush communities of the Idaho Snake River Plain. Their presence continues through the sagebrush communities that occur in later succession [27]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : NO-ENTRY

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Collema tenax
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Poikilohydric plants such as jelly lichen dry quickly during periods of low atmospheric humidity because of their absence of roots and water storage tissue, and low resistance to water loss [5]. These characteristics make lichens highly flammable under dry conditions [12]. In desert shrub habitats in Utah, jelly lichen rapidly invades burn sites by the dispersal of vegetative spores from nearby areas [18]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Initial off-site colonizer (off site, initial community) Secondary colonizer (on- or off-site spores)

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Collema tenax
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Lichens in general are destroyed by fire [24]. Rangeland fires can severely damage all components of soil crusts, including jelly lichen [17]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Information on the response of jelly lichen to fire is sparse. However, after a 1977 fire in shadscale-black greasewood habitats of Camp Floyd State Park, Utah, jelly lichen was the first colonizer to invade the burned area. It was present on burned sites and in unburned controls with the following cover percentages [18]: 1980 1982 _____________________________________ Burned 0.1 2.3 Unburned 5.2 5.8 DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Application of soil crust slurries to burned areas of a black greasewood-shadscale community in central Utah resulted in rapid stabilization of the soil due to crust reestablishment (including the establishment of jelly lichen) [30].

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Collema tenax
REFERENCES : 1. Ahmadjian, V.; Hale, M. E. 1973. The lichens. New York: Academic Press. 697 p. [18880] 2. Ahti, T.; Hepburn, T. L. 1967. Preliminary studies on woodland caribou range, especially on lichen stands, in Ontario. Res. Rep. (Wildlife) No. 74. Toronto, ON: Ontario Department of Lands and Forests, Research Branch. 134 p. [13294] 3. Anderson, David C.; Harper, Kimball T.; Holmgren, Ralph C. 1982. Factors influencing development of Cryptogamic soil crusts in Utah deserts. Journal of Range Management. 35(2): 180-185. [5498] 4. Anderson, David C.; Harper, K. T.; Rushforth, S. R. 1982. Recovery of cryptogamic soil crusts from grazing on Utah winter ranges. Journal of Range Management. 35(3): 355-359. [5304] 5. Auclair, A. N. D. 1983. The role of fire in lichen-dominated tundra and forest-tundra. In: Wein, Ross W.; MacLean, David A., eds. The role of fire in northern circumpolar ecosystems. Scope 18. New York: John Wiley & Sons: 235-256. [18510] 6. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 7. Boissiere, Jean-Claude; Boissiere, Marie-Claude; Champion-Arnaud, Patrick; Lallemant, Richard. 1987. The biological cycle of Nostoc in the genera Peligera and Collema cultured in-vitro and in the lichen thallus. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65: 1468-1477. [21792] 8. Brotherson, Jack D.; Rushforth, Samuel R.; Johansen, Jeffrey R. 1983. Effects of long-term grazing on cryptogram crust cover in Navajo Nationa National Monument, Ariz. Journal of Range Management. 36(5): 579-581. [21581] 9. Duncan, U. K. 1959. A guide to the study of lichens. Arbroath: T. Buncle & Co. Ltd., Printers & Publishers. 164 p. [18878] 10. Egan, R. S. 1987. A fifth checklist of lichens of the United States and Canada. Bryologist. 90(2): 77-173. [21366] 11. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 12. Fink, B. 1935. The lichen flora of the United States. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. 426 p. [18877] 13. Foote, M. Joan. 1983. Classification, description, and dynamics of plant communities after fire in the taiga of interior Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-307. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 108 p. [7080] 14. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 15. Hale, M. E., Jr. 1969. How to know the lichens. Dubuque, IA: W. M. C. Brown Company Publishers. 226 p. [21367] 16. Hale, Mason E., Jr.; Culberson, William Louis. 1970. A fourth checklist of the lichens of the continental United States and Canada. Bryologist. 73(3): 499-543. [19940] 17. Johansen, Jeffrey R.; St. Clair, Larry L. 1986. Croptogramic soil crusts: recovery from grazing near Camp Floyd State P Park, Utah, USA. Great Basin Naturalist. 46(4): 632-640. [21579] 18. Johansen, Jeffrey R.; St. Clair, Larry L.; Webb, Bruce L.; Nebeker, Glen T. 1984. Recovery patterns of cryptogramic soil crusts in desert rangelands l following fire disturbance. Bryologist. 87(3): 238-243. [21629] 19. Kleiner, Edgar F. 1983. Successional trends in an ungrazed, arid grassland over a decade. Journal of Range Management. 36(1): 114-118. [21578] 20. Kleiner, E. F.; Harper, K. T. 1972. Environment and community organization in grasslands of Canyonlands National Park. Ecology. 53(2): 299-309. [6371] 21. Kleiner, Edgar F.; Harper, K. T. 1977. Soil properties in relation to cryptogramic groundcover in Canyonlands National Park. Journal of Range Management. 30(3): 202-205. [21630] 22. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 23. Looman, J. 1964. The distribution of some lichen communities in the prairie provinces and adjacent parts of the Great Plains. Bryologist. 67: 209-224. [21793] 24. Lutz, H. J. 1953. The effects of forest fires on the vegetation of interior Alaska. Juneau, AK: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 36 p. [7076] 25. McCune, Bruce. 1982. Lichens of the Swan Valley, Montana. Bryologist. 85(1): 13-21. [21743] 26. Nelson, Deanna R.; Harper, Kimball T. 1991. Site characteristics and habitat requirements of the endangered dwarf bear-claw poppy (Arctomecon humilis Coville, Papaveraceae). Great Basin Naturalist. 51(2): 167-175. [16569] 27. McArthur, E. Durant; Welch, Bruce, L., compilers. 1986. Proceedings--symposium on the biology of Artemisia and Chrysothamnus; 1984 July 9-13; Provo, UT. General Technical Report INT-200. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station; 1986. 398 p. [1582] 28. Seward, M. R. D., ed. 1977. Lichen ecology. London, NY: Academis Press. 550 p. [21576] 29. Sheridan, Richard P. 1979. Impact of emissions from coal-fired electricity generating facilities on N2-fixing lichens. Bryologist. 82(1): 54-58. [20487] 30. St. Clair, Larry L.; Johansen, Jeffrey R. 1985. Rapid reestablishment of cryptogamic soil crusts after fire through use of a soil crust slurry. Journal of Phycology. 21(supl): 10. [21794] 31. St. Clair, Larry L.; Johansen, Jeffrey R.; Rushforth, Samuel R. 1993. Lichens of soil crust communities in the Intermountain area of the western United States. Great Basin Naturalist. 53(1): 5-12. [21050] 32. Thomson, J. W. 1984. American arctic lichens. I. The macrolichens. New York: Columbia University Press. 504 p. [21371] 33. Wetmore, Clifford M. 1976. Macrolichens of Big Bend National Park, Texas. Bryologist. 79: 296-313. [21796] 34. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Biological Survey. [n.d.]. NPLichen: A National Park Service lichen data base. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Biological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Research Unit, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. [23373]


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