Congratulations to Steve, who just found out that his grant proposal, "A Checklist of Lichens for the Lava Beds National Monument, California" to the California Lichen Society was funded in full!
Lava Beds National Monument is located in northeastern California, in an area that is rarely visited by lichenologists. The Monument is comprised of roughly 32 different types of basalt and andesite flows, in addition to other unique geologic features (Sheehy, 2014). These diverse conditions create a variety of microhabitats on which lichens flourish. However, when Sheehy began inventorying lichens at the Monument in 2012, there were only 19 species recorded in the National Park Database. Since that time, he has expanded the list to include 159 total species, including three species that previously were unreported in California, and one species new to science (McCune et al., 2014). The goal of his ongoing project is to conduct a thorough survey of the lichens of Lava Beds National Monument, add all new species to the National Park Database, create a herbarium for use in the Park, and finally, create a checklist for park visitors and researchers.
McCune, B., J.D. Meglio, and M.J. Curtis. An unusual ascospore shape and a new species, Umbilicaria nodulospora (Umbilicariaceae), from California and Oregon. The Bryologist 2014 117 (2), 170-178
Sheehy, S. Scratching the surface of the lichen diversity at Lava Beds National Monument. Bulletin of the California Lichen Society 2014 21 (2), 35-39.
If you are an OIT student, contact Dr. Byrne if you'd like to assist Mr. Sheehy with this interesting project!