Overview of the Plant Family Candelariaceae
The Candelariaceae family is a group of lichenized fungi that includes several genera and species. The family is a part of the order of Lecanorales, which is one of the largest and most diverse groups of lichen-forming fungi.
The Candelariaceae family is known for its crustose, foliose, and fruticose growth forms. Crustose lichen forms a crust-like layer on the surface of the substrate, while foliose lichen form leaf-like structures, and fruticose lichen forms small shrubs. Most species from this family are typically found in temperate and arctic regions.
Taxonomy and Classification
The Candelariaceae family was first described by Swedish botanist Erik Acharius in 1814. The family's scientific name refers to the genus Candelaria, which is a member of the family.
There are currently six genera in the Candelariaceae family, including Candelaria, Candelariella, Chaenotheca, Consolida, Fulgensia, and Polycoccum.
The classification of the Candelriaceae family has undergone several revisions based on molecular studies. The recent studies support the separation of some genera, including Chaenotheca and Consolida, into separate families.
The Candelariaceae family is unique because of its ability to survive in extreme environmental conditions, including harsh temperatures and polluted environments. Some species in the family have been found growing on rocks, trees, and soil in the sub-Antarctic region.
This family is also unique in that it has a diverse secondary chemistry, which includes compounds such as lichexanthone, usnic acid, and atranorin. These compounds have been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to these unique features, some species in this family have been found to accumulate heavy metals in their tissues, making them useful indicators of environmental pollution.
Overall, the Candelariaceae family is an important group of lichen-forming fungi that contributes to ecosystem functioning and has potential applications in medicine and environmental monitoring.
Distribution of Candelariaceae Family
The Candelariaceae family is a group of mostly crustose lichens that can be found throughout the world but are particularly diverse in arid regions. According to recent taxonomic revisions, this family consists of approximately 200 species distributed across six genera. The distribution of the Candelariaceae family is most prominent in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in South America, Africa, and Australia. However, some species are also found in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Habitat of Candelariaceae Family
Plants from the Candelariaceae family are adapted to a wide range of habitats. They can be found in diverse environments such as deserts, alpine regions, coastal areas, and subtropical forests. They also grow on different substrates such as rocks, soil, moss, and other lichens. Many species of this family have been observed growing in harsh conditions with extreme temperatures and low moisture levels.
Ecological Preferences and Adaptations of Candelariaceae Family
The Candelariaceae family exhibits various ecological preferences and adaptations to survive in different environments. Some species of this family are known to form symbiotic relationships with algae or cyanobacteria, providing them with protection and access to nutrients. Other species produce secondary metabolites that help them tolerate high levels of ultraviolet radiation and drought. Additionally, some species have thick, waxy, or rugose thalli that protect them from water loss in arid areas.
General Morphology and StructureMembers of the Candelariaceae family are small, crustose lichens. They have a thallus that is typically foliose, but can also be squamulose or fruticose. The thalli are typically circular in shape and can range from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter. The upper surface of the thallus is smooth and shiny, while the lower surface is typically attached to the substrate with rhizines, which are root-like structures that help the lichen adhere to its substrate.
Anatomical Features and AdaptationsThe Candelariaceae family is well adapted to survive in harsh environments, such as deserts and polar regions. They are able to do so because they have a number of unique anatomical features and adaptations. For example, the thallus is covered in a waxy coating that helps to prevent water loss through transpiration. Additionally, the thallus is often camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding environment, which helps to protect it from herbivores and other predators. Another key adaptation of the Candelariaceae family is the presence of soralia or isidia, which are specialized structures that help the lichens to reproduce asexually. Soralia are powdery masses of reproductive cells that are produced on the surface of the thallus, while isidia are small, finger-like projections that break off from the thallus and are dispersed by the wind.
Variations in Leaf Shapes, Flower Structures, and Other Distinctive CharacteristicsWhile the thallus of members of the Candelariaceae family is relatively uniform in its general morphology and structure, there can be significant variations in terms of leaf shape, flower structures, and other distinctive characteristics. For example, some species have leaf-like lobes on their thallus, while others have more rounded or irregularly shaped thalli. Some species also have distinctive patterns or coloring on the upper surface of their thallus. In terms of reproduction, some species of the Candelariaceae family also produce apothecia, which are cup-shaped structures that contain reproductive structures. These structures can range in color from white to yellow or orange and can be a useful way to identify different species of lichens within the family.
Reproductive Strategies in Candelariaceae Family
The Candelariaceae family is known for its unique reproductive strategies that are specialized to the harsh environments in which they live. One common reproductive mechanism in this family is asexual reproduction through the fragmentation of thallus, where each fragment develops into a new individual. Sexual reproduction is also common in this family, which involves heterothallism, the presence of separate and distinct male and female thalli. The sexual life cycle is haplodiplontic, with a dominant haploid stage in the life cycle.
Mechanisms of Reproduction
The Candelariaceae family employs different mechanisms of reproduction depending on the species and environment. Besides asexual and sexual reproduction, this family also has specialized reproductive structures such as isidia, soredia, and specialized reproductive bodies called apothecia that contain asci and basidia. Isidia are small outgrowths from thallus that break off, disperse, and grow into new individuals while soredia are powdery granules that contain both algae and fungal mycelium, which can be dispersed by wind and water. Apothecia produce spores, which are dispersed by wind and water to germinate into new individuals.
Flowering Patterns and Pollination Strategies
Members of the Candelariaceae family are lichens that do not have flowering structures. Thus, they do not produce seeds or fruits. However, they propagate through asexual and sexual means as discussed above. Pollination is not applicable for this family as they do not engage in sexual reproduction through the dissemination of pollen.
Seed Dispersal and Adaptations
Although members of the Candelariaceae family do not produce seeds, they have developed various adaptations for the dispersal of their fragments, soredia, and isidia. Wind and rain are major factors that facilitate the distribution of their reproductive structures. For example, isidia are covered with a sticky substance that enables them to adhere to objects that come in contact with them such as clothing, fur, feathers, or surfaces of rocks. Soredia that have dusty granules may be lifted by the wind, while soredia with heavier granules may be dispersed by water. Additionally, some species in this family have developed adapted thalli surfaces that repel water, preventing water from eroding or dispersing their structures.
- Caloplaca submexicana (de Lesd.) Zahlbr. - >>candelina Submexicana
- Caloplacopsis submexicana (de Lesd.) de Lesd. - >>candelina Submexicana
- Candelaria A. Massal. - Lemon Lichen
- Candelaria concolor (Dickson) Stein - Lemon Lichen
- Candelaria concolor (Dickson) Stein var. effusa (Tuck.) G. Merr. & Burnham - Lemon Lichen
- Candelaria fibrosa (Fr.) Mull. Arg. - Lemon Lichen
- Candelariella antennaria Rasanen - Pussytoes Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella arctica (Korber) R. Sant. - Arctic Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella athallina (Wedd.) Du Rietz - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella aurella (Hoffm.) Zahlbr. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella canadensis H. Magn. - Canada Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella cerinella (Florke) Zahlbr. - >>candelariella Aurella
- Candelariella citrina de Lesd. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella coralliza (Nyl.) H. Magn. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella crenulata (Wahlenb.) Zahlbr. - >>candelariella Arctica
- Candelariella deflexa (Nyl.) Zahlbr. - Deflexed Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella dispersa (Rasanen) Hakul. - Dispersed Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella efflorescens R. C. Harris & W. R. Buck - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella epixantha auct. - >>candelariella Aurella
- Candelariella hudsonica Hakul. - >>candelariella Canadensis
- Candelariella kuusamoensis Rasanen - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella kuusamoensis Rasanen var. areolata Hakul. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella lutella (Vainio) Rasanen - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella medians (Nyl.) Sm. - >>candelina Submexicana
- Candelariella Mull. Arg. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella placodizans (Nyl.) H. Magn. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella plumbea Poelt & Vezda - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella reflexa (Nyl.) Lettau - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella rosulans (Mull. Arg.) Zahlbr. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella spraguei (Tuck.) Zahlbr. - Sprague's Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella stenospora de Lesd. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella subdeflexa (Nyl.) Lettau - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella submexicana de Lesd. - >>candelina Submexicana
- Candelariella terrigena Rasanen - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella vitellina (Hoffm.) Mull. Arg. - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelariella xanthostigma (Ach.) Lettau - Eggyolk Lichen
- Candelina mexicana (de Lesd.) Poelt
- Candelina Poelt - Candelina
- Candelina submexicana (de Lesd.) Poelt