Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rare Pennsylvania fungus is named for Philadelphia botanist

Date:
April 27, 2011
Source:
Academy of Natural Sciences
Summary:
A Philadelphia botanist who has studied rare plants for 50 years, but has never attained the honor of having a plant named for him is finally getting his due, but with a barely visible organism so rare it may never be seen again.

Vezdaea schuyleriana lichen is named for an Academy of Natural Sciences botanist.
Credit: James Lendemer

A Philadelphia botanist who has studied rare plants for 50 years, but has never attained the honor of having a plant named for him is finally getting his due, but with a barely visible organism so rare it may never be seen again.

Dr. Alfred "Ernie" Schuyler, emeritus curator of botany at the Academy of Natural Sciences and a world expert on rare plants, recently was honored when a colleague discovered a new species of lichen and named it after him. The barely visible lichen (LIE kin), Vezdaea schuyleriana, is known to exist on a single boulder in rural central Pennsylvania, northwest of Lewisburg -- and nowhere else in the world.

"This is indeed a rare honor," said Schuyler. "I love it!"

A lichen is a fungus that grows symbiotically with algae, a tiny plant. In other words, the fungus and the algae form a living partnership in which they survive together as a lichen. Lichens live on soil, rocks, walls, and trees all over the world. There are more than 14,000 known species of lichens in the world and more are being discovered.

James Lendemer, a doctoral student at The New York Botanical Garden and a research associate at the Academy, is among the relatively few scientists devoting their research to lichens. In the March 2011 issue of Notulae Natureae, Lendemer announced he named his newly discovered lichen after his Academy colleague and friend, Dr. Schuyler. Lendemer studied and curated lichens in the Academy's herbarium before going to New York. The Academy's lichen collection is among the oldest in North America and contains more than 25,000 specimens.

Some lichens are important indicators of environmental quality. Because they are sensitive to air pollution, declining populations can be a clue to degraded air quality. Lichens also are a source of food for animals, and they help in the weathering process of turning rocks into soil.

"There is a lot we don't know about lichens because so few people study them, and minute lichens are rarely collected and studied," said Schuyler. "Who is going to search for more Vezdaea schuyleriana? It's so rare, it may never be seen again."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Academy of Natural Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Academy of Natural Sciences. "Rare Pennsylvania fungus is named for Philadelphia botanist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427171634.htm>.
Academy of Natural Sciences. (2011, April 27). Rare Pennsylvania fungus is named for Philadelphia botanist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427171634.htm
Academy of Natural Sciences. "Rare Pennsylvania fungus is named for Philadelphia botanist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427171634.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins