Overview

Brief Summary

Description

 Thallus: usually flaccid; cortex: thin (3-7%) dull to ±shiny; medulla: lax, rarely dense.; Substrate and ecology: inland on bark (on Pinus spp., Quercus spp., Pseudostsuga menziesii, Abies spp., Picea spp., etc.) or on wood, very rarely on rock, mainly in mixed conifer-oak forests, ponderosa pine forests, spruce-fir communities, oak-juniper woodlands, between 650 and 3600 m; World distribution: probably cosmopolitan on every continent; Sonoran distribution: a frequent inland taxon in the mountains of Arizona, the Sierra Madre Occidental of Chihuahua, and northern Baja California, rarely in southern California and Baja California (Isla Cedros) near the ocean at low altitudes. 
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© Lichen Unlimited: Arizona State University, Tempe.

Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region

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Description

 Thallus: shrubby, usually short, up to 5 cm long, rarely longer and subpendant (up to 13 cm), flaccid to stiff; branching: anisotomic-dichotomous, divergent; basal part: concolorous to the branches to pale; branches: main branches irregular, distinctly segmented, ±swollen, lateral branches not narrowed at point of attachment; segments: terete to strongly ridged, cylindrical to ±sausage-like; transversal furrows: numerous, on main branches; papillae: absent (can be mistaken with young fibrils); tubercles: absent; fibercles: nearly absent to numerous, looking like pseudocyphellae; fibrils: young fibrils (0.1-0.5 mm) nearly absent to numerous, covering densely the branches, mature fibrils (1-2 mm) nearly absent to numerous and giving a fish-bone like appearance to the branches; soralia: few to numerous, usually developing on fibercles, punctiform, smaller than half the diameter of the branches; isidiomorphs: absent (can be mistaken for young fibrils); cortex: thin to thick (3-14%), dull to distinctly shiny, never cracked; medulla: lax, dense or compact, not pigmented; axis: thin to wide; Apothecia: rare, small, 1-3 mm in diam., subterminal; Spot tests: medulla K-, C-, KC- P-, or K+ yellow turning slowly orange, C-, KC- P+yellow; Secondary metabolites: either none detected or norstictic acid ±fatty acids (murolic group) or fatty acids alone (murolic group).; Substrate and ecology: on bark and dead trees or wood, very rarely on rock, in the mountains between 650 and 3600 m; World distribution: probably cosmopolitan on every continent; Sonoran distribution: mountains of Arizona, southern California, Baja California and Sinaloa.; Note: Two subspecies of U. hirta are recognized, one widely distributed and one restricted to Baja California. Intermediate specimens occur in the area of overlap. 
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© Lichen Unlimited: Arizona State University, Tempe.

Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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Ecology

Associations

Lichen / gall
basidioma of Biatoropsis usnearum causes galls on branch (terminal) of Usnea hirta

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Usnea hirta is "widespread, throughout the Pacific Northwest but rare west of the Cascades. This species is most common east of the Continental Divide" (McCune and Geiser 1997).

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