Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Platismatia wheeleri

Last week I had an article published in North American Fungi on the recently described species Platismatia wheeleri. The first author is Jessi Allen, currently a graduate student at NYBG who is partially funded by our NSF grant to study the lichens of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. The study was inspired by her recent collection of the species, which was described just last year. After carefully examining a number of reference specimens, it became clear that the species, described from intermountain western North America (southern British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington), was collected from both the southwestern-most corner of the United States (southern California) and the Tatra Mountains of Slovakia. We were very surprised by the huge disjunction in Europe based on a historical specimen, and we're interested to see if any additional collections turn up from that region! Hopefully this article will alert researchers to the potential presence of P. wheeleri in different regions of the world so we can better understand its historical and current distribution and abundance.

Current distribution of Platismatia wheeleri worldwide (A) and in western North America (B). Red dots are specimens newly reported by us, green dots are from the original description, and yellow dots are from McCune (2012).
A lobe of Platismatia wheeleri (scale = 1 mm)



Allen, J. L., B. P. Hodkinson, and C. R. Björk. 2012. A major range expansion for Platismatia wheeleri. North American Fungi 7(10): 1-12.
View publication (PDF file)
View data file webportal (website)