Niebla laminaria

The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
April 2003, Oct 2005, Sep 2012
Additions June 2017, Dec 2021

Niebla and Vermilacinia (Ramalinaceae) from California and Baja California.  
Spjut, R.W., 1996. ISSN 0833-1475, 208 pp.  
Sida, Botanical Miscellany: 14. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Inc.

Evolutionary history of coastal species of fog lichen genera
, Ramalina and Vermilacinia
Emmanuel Sérusiaux & Richard  Spjut
Baja California, Jan-Feb 2016

Spjut R, Simon A, Guissard M, Magain N, Sérusiaux E. 2020. The fruticose genera in the Ramalinaceae (Ascomycota, Lecanoromycetes): their diversity and evolutionary history.  MycoKeys. 73: 1–68, published online.
MycoKeys. 2020;73:1-68. Published 2020 Sep 11. doi:10.3897/mycokeys.73.47287

Evolution and diversification of Niebla
Steve Leavitt et al., Baja California, Dec 2016
Manuscript presented 2021 on Authorea. April 05, 2021.

Jorna J, J Linde, P Searle, A Jackson, M-E Nielsen, M Nate, N Saxton, F Grewe, M de los Angeles Herrera-Campos, R Spjut, H Wu, B Ho, S Leavitt, T Lumbsch.  Species boundaries in the messy middle -- testing the hypothesis of micro-endemism in a recently diverged lineage of coastal fog desert lichen fungi. Ecology and Evolution. Published Online: 20 Dec 2021.


Laguna and peninsula of San Quintín, N 30°26.988', W 115°59.659', 10 m, Spjut & Sérusiaux 17028, Jan 2016


NE of Punta Colonet, along road to Bella Vista, on North facing Agave-dominated hillside., Leavitt et al. 16-1137, Dec 2016

Southwest of San Quintín in the Punta Mazo Reserve, west-facing slope on Monte Cenizo, 80 m, Leavitt et al. 16778, 16-779, Dec 2016

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Cerro Solo, Spjut & Marin 9047L, Apr 1985

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Punta Cono, Spjut &
Marin 11536
, Apr 1990

laminaria-11543.jpg (68418 bytes)

Punta Cono, Spjut & Marin 11543, Apr 1990

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Punta María, Spjut 10396,
Mar 1988

Pt. Loma, Cabrillo Natl. Mon., CA.  Bratt 5651

San Nicolas Island,
Timbrook & Kuinzenga  735

California (COLO: S-7344)

Punta Banda, BCN
Spjut & Marin 9032C3
May 1985, Holotype



     Niebla laminaria is a species of fruticose lichen found along the Pacific Coast of western North America,  mostly in California and sporadically southwards in Baja California to the Northern Vizcaíno Desert region. It is recognized by the lichen substance of divaricatic acid (with triterpenes) and by the thallus divided into relatively few basal branches (<10) that are dark green with ripples, or with transverse cracks and various types of marginal features of spicular, nodular or lobe-like branchlets. This is in contrast to N. eburnea that has a yellowish green smooth cortex, and to N. homalea that is identified by ± entire branch margins.  In Baja California, N. laminaria is distinguished from related divaricatic-acid N. juncosa and N. undulata by the relatively fewer rigid branches with a relatively thicker cortex overlying a solid medulla. 

     Niebla laminaria exhibits a wide variation in branch shape and regularity or irregularity in development of secondary branching and branch marginal features and also in its phylogeny as seen in other species of Niebla. The holotype from the Coastal Sage Chaparral region, near Punta Banda in Baja California, has regularly shaped basal branches with margins densely covered with isidioid protrusions from near base to apex, appearing to be aborted development of apothecia as seen in Spjut & Sérusiaux 17028 in the desert transition near San Quintín. A draft ITS phylogenetic tree revealed 17028 to be in the same clade with N. eburnea and N. homalea that were collected nearby.   This is in contrast to Leavitt et al. 16778 collected near San Quintín that differed by thallus divided into irregularly strap-shaped branches, much like N. isidiosa except with  pycnidia instead of isidia; in Jorna et a. (2021) it grouped with N. flagelliforma and N. juncosa var. juncosa, which both were collected from the same locality. The specimen from Cerro Solo, Spjut & Marin 9047L,  is similar to a specimen from San Nicolas Island, Timbrook & Kuinzenga 735.  Leavitt et al. 11-637, collected northeast of Punta Colonet, is relatively similar to Spjut & Marin 9047L, while it also differs by the more densely branched thallus with short spinuliferous branchlets; Jorna et al. (2021) showed it monphyletic basal to a large divaricatic acid clade.  Except for 11-637, the same phylogenetic groups of phenotypic species were reported by both Spjut (et a;. 2020) and Jorna et al. (2021).  

Additional References: See Niebla