Welcome to the Lichenicolous Fungi LifeDesk
Lichenicolous fungi are highly specialized and successful organisms that live exclusively on lichens, most commonly as host-specific parasites, but also as broad-spectrum pathogens, saprotrophs or commensals. Over 1500 species have been described throughout the Ascomycota and Basidiomycota (Lawrey & Diederich 2003; Lichenicolous Fungi Online Checklist http://www.lichenicolous.net/) and it is estimated that 3000 species will eventually be described.
At the present time, this site features species of lichenicolous fungi in the superclass Dothideomyceta, which is made up of the primarily lichen-forming Arthoniomycetes and the primarily plant-associated Dothideomycetes. Over 200 species of lichenicolous fungi have been described in each class, and we expect many new species to be discovered. We are presently investigating the phylogenetic relationships of lichenicolous and lichen-forming members in each class with the ultimate goal of understanding the evolutionary transformations that led to the origin of lichenization in these groups.
Recent bibliographic items
- Phoma fuliginosa sp. nov., from Caloplaca trachyphylla in Nebraska, with a key to the known lichenicolous species
- The lichenicolous Phoma species (coelomycetes) on Cladonia
- Lichenoconium christiansenii sp.nov. from Nodobryoria abbreviata (Parmeliaceae) in the Pacific Northwest, with a key to the known lichenicolous species
- Lichenicolous Fungi: Interactions, Evolution, and Biodiversity