July 5, 2022

Cladonia (reindeer mosses, pitcher mosses and heather tails) is a genus of lichens of about 350 species, about 50 of which are found in the Netherlands, of which 16 species are on the Red List. Different species of reindeer moss are sometimes classified in a separate genus Cladina, but genetic research indicates that these species also belong to the genus Cladonia. The genus Cladonia is characterized in that the branches have developed from spore-producing structures. The branches are hollow, and usually have a different colored end. The protected and extremely rare Cladonia perforata is found in the American state of Florida, only 27 sites of this species are known.

Phylogenetic classification

A group of Finnish and Swedish scientists published an extensive study in 2002 on the phylogeny of the genus Cladonia, based on morphological, molecular and chemical data. They divide the taxon Cladonia into three main groups, each of which has its own subdivision. They pay special attention to the taxon Cladina (reindeer moss), which is regarded by some authors as a separate genus. The conclusion of the researchers is that Cladina is monophyletic, and is given the group name Cladinae, but that it must be classified in its entirety in one of the three main groups.


External Links and Resources

Stenroos, S., J. Hyvönen, L. Myllys, A. Thell, T. Ahti (2002) Phylogeny of the Genus Cladonia s. lath. (Cladoniaceae, Ascomycetes) Inferred from Molecular, Morphological, and Chemical Data Cladistics 18, 237–278. Florida Perforate Cladonia A. Aptroot, C.M. van Herk, L.B. Sparrius (2011) Field guide to lichens from dunes, heaths and shifting sands. BLWG (Field Guide with Cladonia Determination Key) BLWG Distribution atlas lichens Open reindeer moss on Spread as an example of a reindeer moss