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Name that lichen

If you have ever dreamed of a lichen species with your namesake, now's your chance to achieve immortality.

Burnaby Now - Jennifer Moreau, June 24, 2011

Name that lichen
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Naming rights for this new species of Bryoria or “Horsehair Lichen”, which forms elegant black tresses on the branches of trees in old-growth forests, will be auctioned off to help raise funds for the Ancient Forest Alliance.
Photo by Jason Hollinger

If you have ever dreamed of a lichen species with your namesake, now's your chance to achieve immortality. Naming rights for two recently discovered species of lichen are up for grabs to the highest bidder. It's all part of a fundraiser for The Land Conservancy of B.C., a non-profit habitat protection group, and the Ancient Forest Alliance, which focuses on saving B.C.'s old-growth forests.

Botanical researcher Trevor Goward discovered the two species of lichen in recent years. The organizations have auctions running on their websites, and as of press time, the going bid for TLC's lichen was $3,000.

Lichens are often mistaken for plants, but they are actually small organisms born of a symbiotic relationship between alga and fungus. They usually grow on trees and rocks. The Ancient Forest Alliance is auctioning off a horsehair lichen, which (according to a rather poetic press release) "forms elegant black tresses on the branches of old growth forests," while The Land Conservancy is selling a type of crottle lichen, which consists of "strap-like lobes, pale grayish above and black below."

As Goward points out, the modern system of classification has been around for three centuries, and the names of those attached to plants are still with us today.

"With any luck, your name will endure as long as our civilization does. Not even Shakespeare could hope for more than that," says the internationally acclaimed lichenologist.

To make a bid, call the TLC office at 1-877-485-2422 or visit the Ancient Forest Alliance website at www.ancientforestalliance.org.

The auction closes on Sept. 10, 2011. Let's hope some botanical enthusiasts win, so these lichens are not left with names like Exxon helveticum or Microsoftus sulcata for all eternity.

 

Link to original article: http://www.burnabynow.com/Name+that+lichen/4999377/story.html#ixzz1RAAK9UO7


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