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Taxonomic studies on the lichen flora of southwestern China
(1). Pilophorus yunnanensis sp. nov. (Cladoniaceae)
Author(s) :Xin Yu Wang, Yogesh Joshi, Jae Seoun Hur, Soon Ok Oh, and Li
Source: The Bryologist, 113(2):345-349. 2010.
Published By: The American Bryological and Lichenological Society, Inc.
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Taxonomic studies on the lichen flora of southwestern China (1).
Pilophorus yunnanensis sp. nov. (Cladoniaceae)
Xin Yu Wang
, Yogesh Joshi
, Jae Seoun Hur
, Soon Ok Oh
Li Song Wang
Korean Lichen Research Institute, Sunchon National University, Sunchon 540-742,
Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of
Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Heilongtan, Kunming, Yunnan 650204, China
ABSTRACT.Taxonomic studies on lichen genus Pilophorus in China revealed a hitherto unknown
species to science, which is here described as new: Pilophorus yunnanensis L. S. Wang & X. Y.
Wang. It is characterized by small, simple, unbranched pseudopodetia having numerous scales,
single (rarely two) globose apothecia at the tip and the lack of a columella. The species is reported
from high elevations in Yunnan Province in southwestern China and was collected from siliceous
rocks exposed to sun. Description and figures are provided on the basis of this material and the
new taxon is compared with other Pilophorus species.
KEYWORDS.East Asia, new species, lichenized fungi, Pilophorus, taxonomy.
The region of Southwestern China includes the
municipality of Chongqing, provinces of Sichuan,
Yunnan and Guizhou and the Tibet Autonomous
Region. It spans a very wide range of elevations, from
76 m above sea level to 6740 m at the highest point.
Due to this altitudinal variation, the climate varies
from tropical in the South to temperate in the North.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this region harbors a rich
lichen flora (Hue 1887; Hur 2005; Wang et al. 2001;
Zahlbruckner 1930) as well as high diversities of
other taxa. Many undescribed lichen species are likely
to be discovered here (Aptroot 2006; McCune 2003),
of which the present Pilophorus is but one.
The genus Pilophorus Th. Fr. (Cladoniaceae;
Lumbsch & Huhndorf 2007), is characterized by the
crustose primary thallus, short and simple
pseudopodetia, a green epihymenium, simple spores,
and the presence of the cephalodia. The genus
comprises circa 11 species distributed in temperate
and alpine regions of the world where they typically
grow on rocks (Jahns 1981, Timdal 1988). Harada
and Yoshimura (2004) demonstrated that the correct
generic name is Pilophorus Th. Fr. as previously
adopted by Hawksworth et al. (1972) and Jahns
(1970) and not Pilophoron Nyl. as suggested by
Culberson (1970). More recent names published
under Pilophoron are treated as orthographic errors.
At present five species are known to occur in
South East Asia: P. acicularis (Ach.) Th. Fr., P.
cereolus (Ach.) Th. Fr., P. clavatus Th. Fr., P. curtulus
Kurok. & Shibucihi and P. nigricaulis M. Sato
(Harada et al. 2004; Lai 2001; Park 1990; Wei 1991).
Recent floristic surveys in Yunnan province
(southwestern part of China) revealed the presence of
Corresponding author e-mail:
The Bryologist 113(2), pp. 345–349 0007-2745/10/$0.65/0
a hitherto unknown species on exposed rocks in the
alpine zone. This species is hereby described as new
to science, and its differentiation from other species
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Specimens for this study were collected during
surveys in the Yunnan province, China. These are
deposited in the herbarium of Kunming Institute of
Botany, China (KUN) and Korean Lichen Research
Institute, Sunchon National University, Korea
Specimens have been examined using standard
microscopical techniques and were hand-sectioned
under NIKON C-PS 1068908 dissecting microscope.
All measurements were made on material mounted
in water, and lactophenol cotton blue (LCB) was
used only as a stain. Anatomical descriptions are
based on these preparations under a microscope
(NIKON Eclipse E 200). For characters such as size of
thallus, apothecia and thickness of the epihymenium,
hymenium, subhymenium, five measurements were
recorded for each specimen; ten measurements per
specimen were recorded for ascospore dimensions.
The dimensions of ascospores are generally presented
as smallest single value recorded–largest single value
recorded. Spot test reactions were carried out on
hand cut sections of thalli and apothecia under the
microscope OLYMPUS BX 50. Secondary
metabolites were identified by TLC as described by
Elix et al. (1987) and White & James (1985).
Terminology for tissues generally follows that of
Pilophorus yunnanensis L. S. Wang & X. Y.
Wang sp. nov. Figs. 1–3
Thallus saxatilis, fruticosus. Thallus horizontalis
dissitus, laxe squamulosus, squamulae ad 0.1 mm
diametro, albiogriseae. Pseudopodetia parva, ad
1 mm longa, solida. Apothecia globosa, singula,
0.2–0.4 mm diametro. Columella absens,textura
pseudopodetii solida. Cephalodia rara, sessilia. Nostoc
TYPE:CHINA,YUNNAN PROVINCE: Luquan Co.,
Jiaozixueshan Mt., 26u059N, 102u089E, alt.
3600 m, on exposed rocks, 2003, L. S. Wang 03-
22641 (holotype: KUN; isotype: Korean Lichen
Research Institute, Sunchon National
Description. Primary thallus persistent, small,
consisting of loosely attached tiny granules, scattered
to rarely aggregated, about 0.1 mm in diameter,
white gray to yellowish gray when dry.
Pseudopodetia unbranched, very small and thin, less
than 1 mm high and 0.2 mm wide. Surface of
pseudopodetia covered with scales, which are
concolorous with the primary thallus and form small
areoles. Pseudopodetia sometimes partly ecorticate
and exposing the brown to blackish brown medulla.
Internal part of pseudopodetia solid, composed of
strongly gelatinized hyphae, forming dark pigmented
central region. Pycnidia not found. Phycobiont
green, Pleurococcus–type, cells ca 9 mm in diameter.
Cephalodia rare, sessile on thallus or between the
squamules, 0.2–1.0 mm in diameter, verrucose to
granulose, light brown to brown, containing Nostoc.
Apothecia apical on mature pseudopodetia,
globose and black, 0.2–0.4 mm in diameter, solitary
or rarely in pairs, and then partly fused. In mature
specimens, the transition between apothecium and
pseudopodetium is marked by change in
pigmentation (black–brown to light brown,
respectively) and the lack of a columella in vegetative
tissue. Epihymenium pigmented, bluish green, ca
5mm high. Hymenium non-amyloid, unpigmented,
ca 120 mm high. Subhymenium unpigmented, ca
50 mm high. Excipulum absent. Asci clavate, with a
well developed amyloid tholus containing a deeper
amyloid tube, containing 8 spores. Spores simple,
spindle shape when mature, 20.0–22.5 35–7 mm(n
Chemistry. Spot test reactions: thallus K+
yellow, C2,P2. Secondary metabolites: atranorin
Ecology and distribution. Pilophorus
yunnanensis grows on siliceous rocks, in the high-
elevation mountain in Yunnan province, southwest
Etymology. The specific epithet ‘‘yunnanensis’’
refers to the Yunnan province.
Additional specimen examined:C
PROVINCE: Lijiang Co., Laojunshan Mt., 26 u399N,
346 The Bryologist 113(2): 2010
99 u469E, alt. 3690m, on rock, 2005, L. S. Wang 05-
Discussion. Pilophorus yunnanensis is
characterized by the extremely tiny pseudopodetia
and scattered primary thallus and easily distinguished
from congeneric species (Table 1). Except for P.
dovrensis which lacks pseudopodetia and is entirely
crustose (Timdal 1988) it is the smallest Pilophorus
species with pseudopodetia ever reported. Pilophorus
curtulus also has small pseudopodetia, however, the
primary thallus is usually closely aggregated (Jahns
1981), compared to loosely distributed in P.
yunnanensis. The pseudopodetia of P. curtulus are
usually taller than 2 mm, and wider than 0.5 mm,
and hence more conspicuous than those of P.
yunnanensis that are mostly less than 1mm tall and
Figures 1–3. Pilophorus yunnanensis 1. Habit (holotype: L. S. Wang 03-22641)2. Pseudopodetia 3. Cephalodia growing on
Wang et al.: Pilophorus yunnanensis sp. nov. 347
Table 1. Comparison of P. yunnanensis against similar congeneric species (based on Jahns  and Timdal ).
P. yunnanensis P. awasthianus P. clavatus P.curtulus P. fibula P. nigricaulis P. strumaticus
Primary thallus granular granular granular granular squamulose granular granular
Primary thallus size
0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 2.0 2.0 0.1
Thallus color whitish-grey to
grey grey-green grey-green grey-green white or light
Pseudopodetium habit simple simple or
simple simple simple,
height 3width (mm)
130.2 15 31.0 20 30.3 3 30.5 1 30.5 6 31230.5
Apothecium shape globose globose conical spherical hemispherical subglobose or
Apothecia size (mm) 0.4 2.0 5 31(20.4) 1 1 2.5 1
Number of apothecia
one, rarely two one to several one one, rarely two one one one or two
Pigment boundary present present absent 6present present absent absent
Boundary texture present absent absent present present present absent
Spore size (mm) 20.0–22.5 35–7 c. 20 37 23.5–26.5 35–6 c. 22 37 17–23 3
c. 18 37 14.0–19.0 3
Chemistry atranorin, zeorin atranorin, zeorin,
isousnic acid, zeorin,
three chemotypes: 1: no lichen
substances; 2: atranorin, zeorin;
3: isousnic acid
atranorin atranorin, stictic
Geographic distribution China Himalayas Pacific ocean, W North
America, E Asia
Japan, China E North
America, E Asia
348 The Bryologist 113(2): 2010
0.2 mm wide. The apothecia of the P. curtulus are
about 1mm in diameter, versus 0.5 mm in P.
yunnanensis. The cephalodia of P. curtulus are flat
and disc shaped growing between the squamules of
the primary thallus, whereas those of P. yunnanensis
are small and verrucose, and occasionally found on
Another species that has small pseudopodetia is P.
fibula, but it only occurs in north-eastern North
America and appears to be restricted to the area of the
White Mountains (Jahns 1981). Pilophorus fibula has a
rather large primary thallus with squamules of up to
2 mm in diameter, whereas in P. yunnanensis,the
squamules are rather small (mostly 0.1 mm in
diameter) and rarely aggregate. Some specimens of P.
clavatus also have tiny pseudopodetia, but the apothecia
are bottle shaped versus granulose and the thallus is
usually yellowish rather than whitish grey (Jahns 1981).
Pilophorus nigricaule is also a short stalked species with
pseudopodetia only 1–6 mm in height, but the primary
thallus (or squamules) is subglobose and thick, about
2 mm broad and 1 mm high (Jahns 1981).
We thank Daniel Stanton (Princeton University) for helping
with the English composition; the first author would like to
show special thank to his father, who helped us a lot in taking
photos. The authors are thankful to National Natural Science
Foundation of China (No. 30870158) and National Science
Foundation of Yunnan (No. 2006C0052M) for providing
financial assistance in carrying out this research.
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