Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Wesley C. Whiteside


Collections of Cladonias with cup-shaped podetia were made in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin in order to determine the distribution of an atranorin-containing variant of Cladonia cryptochlorophaea, which was discovered in 1982 in Coles County, Illinois by Cheryl Cunningham. A second objective was a distributional study of the Cladonias having cup-shaped podetia in the same three state area.

A total of 591 specimens were collected from the three states. The collection areas for Illinois were: Jackson Hollow in Pope County, Giant City State Park and Touch of Nature Interpretive Center in Jackson and Williamson Counties, Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County, and Sand ridge State Park in Mason County. The three collecting locations in Indiana were: Koontz Lake in Starke County, Turkey Run State Park in Parke County, and Fern Cliff in Putnam County. In Wisconsin, five areas were collected from: Tamarack Road in Walworth County, Palmyra Prairie in Waukeska County, a county roadside park in Sauk County, Whitford Farm in Marquette County, and Lone Rock DNR Unit in Richland County. The TLC method and microcrystal tests were utilized for identification of lichen substances.

The total numbers of collections for each species were: Cladonia grayi - 343 specimens, Cladonia pleurota - 112 specimens, Cladonia chlorophaea - 73 specimens, and Cladonia cryptochlorophaea - 63 specimens. 33 of the 63 specimens of C. cryptochlorophaea contained atranorin. All three states yielded specimens of this atranorin - containing variant. The prescence or absence of atranorin was independant of that of fumaroprotocetraric acid, another accessory substance.

The distributional study showed that C. grayi was the most frequently encountered chemotaxon.

For C. chlorophaea, there was a higher frequency in Wisconsin than the more southern areas in Illinois and Indiana.

C. pleurota showed a preference for harder substrates such as sandstone over loose sand or sandy soil. C. cryptochlorophaea was always collected in low frequencies.

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