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British Soldier Lichens (Cladonia cristatella or kin) and Mosses in the Oregon woods | by Treebeard
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British Soldier Lichens (Cladonia cristatella or kin) and Mosses in the Oregon woods

The forests of Lilliput...

 

These are beautiful British Soldier Lichens (Cladonia cristatella or kin - maybe C. deformis?) starting to get their "red hats" in the Oregon woods, growing with moss. I believe the red caps are the apothecia (spore-bearing structures) of the fungal part of the lichen partnership between fungus and algae. Remember that lichens are dual-organisms - part fungus and part algae - and sometimes the fungal part tries to reproduce on it's own. The mosses (Bryophyta) are starting to "flower" with sporophytes. You can get lost exploring the growth on a single log in the woods! (Near Susan Creek, North Umpqua River, Oregon, 25 November 2012)

 

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Taken on November 25, 2012