Niebla limicola

The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
April 2003, Oct 2005, Sep 2012
Additions: May 2017, Nov 2021

Niebla and Vermilacinia (Ramalinaceae) from California and Baja California.  
Spjut, R.W., 1996. ISSN 0833-1475, 208 pp.  
Sida, Botanical Miscellany: 14. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Inc.

Evolutionary history of coastal species of fog lichen genera
Niebla
, Ramalina and Vermilacinia
Emmanuel Sérusiaux & Richard  Spjut
Baja California, Jan-Feb 2016

Spjut R, Simon A, Guissard M, Magain N, Sérusiaux E.  2020.  The fruticose genera in the Ramalinaceae (Ascomycota, Lecanoromycetes): their diversity and evolutionary history.  MycoKeys. 73: 1–68,  published online.
MycoKeys. 2020;73:1-68. Published 2020 Sep 11. doi:10.3897/mycokeys.73.47287

Additional Discussion: See: Introduction to Niebla and its phylogeography

 

                                             

SE of Guerrero Negro, near Whale watching center, Jan 2016
Spjut & Sérusiaux 17133
Jan 2016
 

SE of Guerrero Negro, near Whale watching center, Jan 2016
Spjut & Sérusiaux 17134
Jan 2016

SE of Guerrero Negro, near Whale watching center, Jan 2016
Spjut & Sérusiaux 17130
Jan 2016

 

limicola-9794.jpg (140648 bytes)

Morro Santo Domingo,
Spjut 9794, May 1986

limicola-11916.jpg (90741 bytes)

Scammon's Lagoon, BCS
Marin & Spjut 11916, Apr 1990

limicola-12690.jpg (35577 bytes)

Guerrero Negro,
Spjut 12690, Apr 1993

Rancho San José
between Punta Canoas
and Punta Blanca, BCN
 
Spjut & Marin 11396, Apr 1990

Punta Cono, BCN
 
Spjut & Marin 11539, Apr 1990

Cañón San Vicente
between El Rosario and
Punta San Antonio
Spjut & Marin 12684,
Mar
1993

 

Close-up of thallus, near Guerrero Negro, Follmann 34432 (B)
Photo by G. Follmann

 

Habitat of the species near Guerrero Negro, BCS
Left (Top): Professor Sérusiaux, Photo By R. Spjut,
Spjut & Sérusiaux 17130-34
Right: Photos by G. Follmann. Follmann 34432 (B)

 

Niebla sp. [aff. brachyura]

Baja California Sur. Vizcaíno Peninsula: Southeast of Guerrero Negro near Whale Watch; 27°46.178, 114°00.665, 6 m. Type locality for N. limicola (salazinic acid).

Spjut & Sérusiaux 17132-4752. Jan 2016. Hypoprotocetraric acid + psoromic acid? Cited in MycoKeys 73: 18, Fig. 7  (2020). New chemotype for Niebla. DNA 4752.

 

Bahía de San Quintín, BCN
 
Spjut & Marin 11937, Feb 1991

 

Geographic Distribution

 

Illustration of TLC data showing salazinic acid among other chemotypes
 of Niebla

 

     Niebla limicola is a species of fruticose lichen endemic to the  peninsula of Baja California, occurring along shores of bays and beaches with salt scrub (Atriplex, Frankenia), and inland on alkali barren soil (devoid of higher plant vegetation), ranging from the Vizcaíno Peninsula to Bahía de San Quintín.  It seems most common on coastal mud or sand in the Southern Vizcaíno Desert, especially near Guerrero Negro, the type locality.  It is readily recognized by the regular appearance of short bifurcate branchlets arising along dilated-flattened segments, and by having salazinic acid.  Niebla arenaria is similar in chemistry and habit, but differs by the linear-prismatic branches in contrast to the dilated-flattened branches of N. limicola.  Another similar species, N. effusa (salazinic acid), has spreading fringing branchlets from dilated segments nearer the apex instead of the regular bifurcate branching.  Branches of N. limicola are generally more twisted in contrast to related salazinic-acid species.

    Niebla brachyura, a relatively infrequent species in the southern half region of the Vizcaíno Desert and on Isla Cedros, is sometimes similar in the bifurcate branching but easily distinguished by its lichen substance of hypoprotocetraric acid (as opposed to salazinic acid).

    The geographic occurrence of N. limicola on the northern peninsula of Baja California (Norte) is more spotty than in related species.  As the epithet implies, the thalli are mostly found on alkali silt or mud where there is little other vegetation, including lichens as may be seen in Cañón San Vicente—between El Rosario and Punta Antonio—south of Punta Baja.

     A "sampling" of eight  specimens of putative  N. limicola, initiated by Professor Sérusiaux from thalli growing within several  meters of each other in the vicinity of the type locality;  were selected by morphological differences. Five were DNA extracted, and one other limited to TLC.  All clustered in a phylogenetic ITS tree among other depsidone species within the depsidone clade; however, both BPP and Stacey analyses recognized two different species, clearly evident in the 6-loci phylogenetic tree(Spjut et al. 2020, Fig. 7) in which 17130-4751 and 17132-4752 are well separated, phylogenetically. While 17130 compares closely with the type collection in morphology and chemistry of salazinic acid—and could serve as an epitype for the species, ± supported by the DNA phylogeny—the nearby 17132-4752 was found to be a new chemotype for the genus in having the combination of hypoprotocetraric acid and psoromic acid with unknowns, and also morphologically distinct by its thicker cortex. It is shown phylogeographically related to depsidone specimens collected in the Chaparral Desert Transition, a disjunct pattern also seen other species complexes of Niebla.

Additional References: See Niebla