KEYS TO THE LICHENS OF ITALY - 74) BASIDIOLICHENS (Lichenomphalia and Multiclavula)
Pier Luigi Nimis
Apparatus of images: Andrea Moro - Software and databases: Stefano Martellos

This is a key to the 8 species of Basidiolichens which are known to occur in Italy (Nimis 2016). Two genera are included:
Lichenomphalia Redhead, Lutzoni, Moncalvo & Vilgalys - This basidiomycete genus (Agaricales, Hygrophoraceae) with omphalinoid fruiting bodies contains 8 lichenised taxa that form symbioses with the unicellular green algal photobiont Coccomyxa. Molecular and morphological data (Lutzoni & Vilgalys 1995, Lutzoni 1997, Moncalvo & al. 2000) have shown that lichenized species formerly assigned to the genus Omphalina do constitute a monophyletic clade which was segregated into the new genus Lichenomphalia. The species are generally restricted to arctic-alpine environments, with the notable exceptions of the Mediterranean L. meridionalis (Barrasa & al. 2000) and of L. umbellifera, that is also found in boreal and northern temperate rain forests and is considered to be the most broadly distributed and ecologically most wide-ranging species in the genus. The species of the Iberian Peninsula were treated by Barrasa & Rico (2001).
Multiclavula R.H. Petersen - This genus of the Clavulinaceae (Cantharellales) includes a group of club-shaped Basidiomycetes which straddle the lichen border: the algal partners are enclosed in small capsules of mycelial tissue, but virtually unstructured, appearing as a green granular crust on the surfaces where the mushroom fruits. Although both symbionts live in an obligate mutualistic association, they remain recognisable morphologically. Multiclavula was traditionally included in the Clavariaceae, but molecular phylogenetic analysis shows its close relationship with the Cantharelloid clade of the Homobasidiomycetes (see e.g. Ertz & al. 2008).


Barrasa J.M., Esteve-Raventós F. 2000. A redescription of Omphalina meridionalis, based on material collected in Spain. Mycotaxon, 75: 273-280.
Barrasa J.M., Rico V.J. 2001. Lichenised species of Omphalina (Tricholomataceae) in the Iberian Peninsula. Lichenologist, 33, 5: 371-386.
Ertz D., Lawrey J.D., Sikaroodi M., Gillevet P.M., Fischer E., Killmann D., Sérusiaux E. 2008. A new lineage of lichenized basidiomycetes inferred from a two-gene phylogeny: the Lepidostromataceae with three species from the tropics. Am. J. Bot., 95, 12: 1548-1556.
Lutzoni F.M. 1997. Phylogeny of lichen- and non-lichen-forming omphalinoid mushrooms and the utility of testing for combinability among multiple data sets. Systematic Biology, 46, 3: 373-406.
Lutzoni F. Vilgalys R. 1995. Omphalina (Basidiomycota, Agaricales) as a model system for the study of coevolution in lichens. Cryptogamic Botany 5, 1: 71-81.
Moncalvo J.-M., Lutzoni F.M., Rehner S.A., Johnson J., Vilgalys R, 2000, Phylogenetic relationships of agaric fungi based on nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences. Systematic Biology, 49, 2: 278-305.
Nimis P.L. 2016. The lichens of Italy. A second annotated catalogue. EUT, Trieste, 740 pp.

Last modified: July, 30, 2021

Project Dryades, Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste - CC BY-SA 4.0