BLS AGM 2016
Posted: Friday, January 22, 2016 - 09:43
The 2016 winter meeting was held in Newcastle upon Tyne on 15-17th January. It started with a reception and dinner on the Friday evening, and the society joined with the Natural History Society of Northumbria for a lichen herbarium evening with a display of specimens and books from their collection. As usual the AGM was on the Saturday morning, at Newcastle University, and this was followed in the afternoon by a programme of talks. On the final day 25 members and friends gathered for a field trip to Wallington Hall in Northumberland and enjoyed a great day out in the snow.
There have been quite a few changes to Council this year. Allan Pentecost has started his two year term as President, with Paul Cannon as Vice President, but Janet Simkin remains on Council as Past President and will continue to be a member of several committees. The role of Secretary has been taken on by Pat Wolseley and Sandy Coppins as a job share, Fay Newbery has taken over as chair of EPC, and Heidi Doring as chair of MSC. We also have three new elected members of Council - Niall Higgins, Tracy Lovering and Tim Wilkins. This new team have much to do!
New membership system
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 16:16
Our membership management system now has an online portal through which members can manage their own contact details and renew their subscriptions. Payments can be made by credit or debit card, and direct debits are also available (as well as cheques for those who prefer). The day to day running of this system has been transferred to a service provider, the Royal Society of Biology. They will provide a dedicated phone line (020 3793 7852) and email (email@example.com) to ensure that queries are answered quickly.
Starry Breck Lichen
Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 10:37
Buellia asterella, the Starry Breck Lichen, has been accepted for inclusion in the IUCN Global Red List with a conservation status of Critically Endangered. This is the first British lichen to be included in the list.
It is endemic to the dry grasslands of western Europe, and used to occur in small isolated populations from Italy to England and southern Norway. Now it is thought to be extinct in all but three or four locations globally, all in Germany or Norway. It was last seen in Britain at Lakenheath Warren in 1999. The causes of this decline appear to be loss of grassland habitat to agriculture and urban development, eutrophication, scrub encroachment and trampling.
Further information can be found on the IUCN website.
New Naturalist Lichens
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 19:22
Earlier this month the South Yorkshire Biodiversity Research Group held a conference, Oliver Gilbert: A Life in Ecology, in Sheffield. Oliver had many interests including lichens. He was an active member of the BLS and author of the classic New Naturalist book on Lichens, published in March 2000. Thanks to generous sponsorship by New Naturalist this book is now offered for sale at a 10% discount, with £10 from each sale to be donated to SYBRG.
Download the form for further details.
Lichenographiae suecicae Prodromus
Posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 15:38
Erik Acharius (1757-1819) was Linnaeus's last student and the founder of modern systematic lichenology. Before his death in 2014, David Galloway found Acharius's personal, interleaved copy his book Lichenographiae suecicae Prodromus (1799) in the Manuscripts Department of the university library in Uppsala. It is a handsome volume, with a particularly luscious hand-painted frontispiece plate drawn and coloured by Acharius himself and with many hand-written changes, additions and lists. Clearly it was the working model for his later book, Methodus, and as such is a volume of considerable historical and taxonomic interest.
This work has now been digitised, a project initiated by David Galloway and completed as a fitting tribute to him as well as to Acharius. It can be viewed online by following this link to the Alvin portal.
The project was funded mainly by Uppsala University Library, the British Lichen Society and the Linnean Society of London.
Distribution maps update
Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014 - 07:28
Thanks to the Herculean efforts of Les Knight distribution maps for ALL the British species of lichens and lichenicolous fungi are now available within the species accounts for each taxon. We will update these maps when there are significant changes, and they will generally be more up to date and accurate than those on the NBN Gateway. To view the species accounts go to this page -www.britishlichensociety.org.uk/resources/species-accounts
Lichen: A Beauty Exposed
Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2014 - 20:30
An exhibition of lichen photographs by Northumberland photographer Iain Duncan has just opened in the main gallery and foyer of the Queen’s Hall, Hexham, and will be there until 22nd November 2014.
This is the culmination of a two year project to showcase the aesthetic qualities of the lichens found on, and in the immediate vicinity of, Hadrian's Wall. The Roman wall is of great historical importance and is a World Heritage site, but the aim of this project, is to introduce audiences to aspects of the holistic and continuing story of Hadrian's Wall, beyond the time of ancient Rome, and to raise awareness of a natural colonisation which is ongoing.
The exhibition will be supported by a number of workshops, including two Introductions to Lichens based at Cawfields Quarry, on the Wall. These are being run in conjunction with the Natural History Society of Northumbria, and places should be booked through the Queen’s Hall ticket office.
New Churchyard and Burial Ground Information Pack
Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 15:01
The Caring for God's Acre project have just published a fabulous resource for schools to encourage them to get classes out exploring their local churchyards as part of their schoolwork. It includes projects to make kids aware of lichens and get them to look closely at them, photograph them and use them as the basis for art work. Follow this link for details: www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk
Lichen Epiphytic Scenarios
Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 10:53
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and British Lichen Society have made available a toolkit in which lichenologists can explore the consequences of climate change at a site-scale, for 382 lichen epiphyte species. A value of ‘environmental suitability’ can be compared for individual species, or across an assemblage of epiphytes, between the present-day and the 2050s and 2080s based on Met Office climate models. This effect of climate change can be modified by woodland composition in order to account for stand-scale changes, such as might occur under a tree disease scenario. The toolkit is accompanied by a Quick Guide and Technical Report, and also features in the British Lichen Society Bulletin for Sumer 2014.
Note that the toolkit is best applied to regions of northern Britain, and is expected to be less accurate for southern England where future climate analogues lie outside British climate space.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO VISIT THE LICHEN EPIPHYTIC SCENARIOS WEBSITE
International Lichen Symposium 2014 - A Great Success!
Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 11:55
The BLS symposium on New Developments in Lichenology, held at Nottingham University on 10-11th January 2014, was a great success. A wide range of topics were covered, grouped into three main themes: Systematics, Ecophysiology, Communities and Environmental Quality. Key note presentations for these were given by Mats Wedin, Markus Hauck and Chris Ellis. Altogether 22 papers and 19 posters were presented. Further details will appear on the BLS website soon.
The Symposium was combined with the society's usual AGM meeting, which made for a large gathering for the reception on the Friday evening and some interesting discussions at the AGM the following day. The weekend finished with a field meeting at Calke Abbey nearby, attended by an international group of 39 society members and guests (see the previous News report).
We are grateful to Nottingham University for hosting the meeting, and to the Linnean Society and the New Phytologist Trust for their support.