Skip booklet index and go to page content

COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Boreal Felt Lichen in Canada


The senior author wishes to thank the many people and government organizations that have assisted him in various phases of the present work. These include the following:

  • Mr. Mac Pitcher, Salmonier Nature Park
  • Jon Arne Saeter, a Norwegian nature photographer who took careful field notes during our joint exploration of the Avalon Wilderness in the early part of October 1993, with logistic support being generously supplied by the Parks Authorities.
  • Dr. Henry Mann, Grenfell College of Memorial University at Corner Brook, NF, facilitated meetings with Mr. Len Moores of the NF Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods and Dr. Doyle Wells of the Federal Department of Forestry.
  • Mr. Eugene Conway provided field support and connected me with that enthusiastic group of young people who had been employed by the Youth Core Program to study Erioderma pedicellatum and its habitats in Lockyer’s Waters.
  • Mr. Bill Clarke at Paddy's Pond and Mr. Joe Brazil, Newfoundland representative of COSEWIC provided updated information on the discoveries of Erioderma pedicellatum in various parts of Newfoundland.
  • Chief Michael Joe and his coordinator, Mr. Jerard Joe, of the Conne River Migmaw Band, provided logistic support and encouragement.
  • Dr. Christoph Scheidegger of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forestry, Snow and Landscape Research provided me with background information on the European status of Erioderma pedicellatum and on the direction of his own research interests and engagements in describing the population dynamics, life cycle requirements and threats to the survival of this lichen in Lockyer’s Waters.
  • Ms. Astri Botnen of the Botanical Institute, University of Bergen, typed up a detailed list of my collections, which enabled me to access the information for the quotation of relevant data on E. pedicellatum. 
  • Mr. Stephen Clayden, curator of the lichen herbarium at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, N.B., examined some of my collections of cyanophilic lichens from Atlantic Canada. His interest in my work and his help in the acquisition of hard to obtain botanical literature on lichen chemistry are gratefully acknowledged.
  • Dr. Tomas Hallingbäck supplied me with information on the gradual disappearance of Lobaria species from Southern Sweden, and shared with me his unpublished results on the distribution of cyanobacteria on tree trunks.
  • Dr. Gordon Ringius gave permission to make use of his photographs of E. pedicellatum.
  • I wish to thank the present owner of Blue Ponds, Mr. Wayne Watton, who had temporarily been in charge of the River of Ponds Park in 1998 and who had treated me to his hospitality. 
  • Mr. David Yetman shared with me his most recent surveys of Erioderma in Lockyer’s Waters and in the Jipujijkuei Kuespem Park. His detailed data have been most useful in rounding off the existing information on Erioderma for Newfoundland.
  • Mr. Trevor Goward of Clearwater, B.C., provided his insights into cyanophilic lichen epiphytes and their significance.
  • Dr. Bill Freedman of Dalhousie University, a friend and colleague, was helpful in directing me to publications of interest.
  • I wish to thank the Dean of Science at Saint Mary’s University, Dr. David Richardson, and his secretary Mrs. Susan Dorey for their very generous help in the search for important literature and contacts with lichenologists abroad. In particular they provided me with much needed articles published in the Lichenologist and The Bryologist.
  • Dr. Peter Wallace of Dalhousie shared his geological knowledge with me and assisted me in finding relevant geological literature.
  • I am also grateful to those who have been involved in wordprocessing this report.  They include: Miss Heather MacMillan (my son’s enlightened girlfriend and companion); my unselfish neighbour Liana Tessier; as well as Mrs. Tammy Chouinard of the Oceanography Department of Dalhousie University; Mrs. Caroline Baxter and her husband assisted with their computer expertise and helped me with e-mail transmittals of my files.
  • During the last stage of my fieldwork in Nova Scotia, I was accompanied by Mr. Bob Guscott of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.
  • I was assisted in my map library work by Mr. James Boxall and Mr. Geoffrey Brown at the Killam Library of Dalhousie University, in determining accurate coordinates for localities visited by myself and those appearing in reports issued by the NDFR at Paddy’s Pond.
  • As a former employee of the National Research Council of Canada, I received unlimited library services from CISTI through the kind assistance of Mrs. Anna Backman and Mr. Ian Young, librarians at the Institute for Marine Biosciences of the National Research Council in Halifax, N.S.
  • Financial assistance for the preparation of this status report was provided by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada and the Newfoundland Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods.  In addition, some of my fieldwork was financed through a grant from the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company through Youth Services Canada. The same source also supplied financial and logistic support for fieldwork in the Jipujijkuei Kuespem Park and in other parts of the Bay D'Espoir area.

Literature Cited

[including annotated comments in some cases]

Ahlner, S. 1948. Utbredningstyper bland Nordiska Barrträdslavar (i.e. Distributional Patterns for Fennoscandinavian Lichens growing on Coniferous Trees). - Uppsala. Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri AB. - Doctoral Thesis which contains a description of Erioderma boreale Ahlner n.sp. and where its relationships to some of the South American species of Erioderma are outlined.

Ahti, T. 1983.  Chapter 8. Lichens. pp. 319-360  In  Biogeography and Ecology of the Island of Newfoundland.  Edited by G.R. South. Dr. W. Junk Publishers. Den Hague.

Ahti, T. and P.M. Jørgensen. 1971.  Notes on the Lichens of Newfoundland.  I. Erioderma boreale, New to North America. -  The Bryologist 74: 378-381.

Asakawa, Y., J.C. Muller, G. Ourisson, J. Foussereau and G. Ducombs.1976. Nouvelles lactones sesquiterpenique de Frullania (Hepaticae). -  Bull. Soc. Chim. Fr. 1456-1466.

Auclair, A.N.D. 1987. The Climate Change Theory of Forest Decline. -  IUFRO Conference on Woody Plant Growth in a Changing Physical and Chemical Environment, Vancouver. Environment Canada, 29 pp.

Auclair, A.N.D.,  R.C. Worrest, D. Lachance and H.C. Martin.  1992.  Climatic Perturbation as a General Mechanism of Forest Dieback. -  Pages 38-58 In Forest Decline Concepts, edited by P.D. Manion and D. Lachance. The American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Bajzac, D. and B.A. Roberts. 1996. Development of Ecological Land Classification and Mapping in Support of Forest Management in Northern Newfoundland, Canada. - Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Vol. 39: 99-213.

Benedetto, J.L. T.M. Sánchez, M.G. Carrera, E.D. Brassa and M.J. Salas. 1999. Palaeontological constraints on successive paleogeographic positions of precordillera terrane during the Early Paleozoic. Geological Society of America Special Paper 336, pp. 21-42.

Bergerud, A.T. and F. Manuel. 1968. Moose Damage to Balsam Fir - White Birch Forests in Central Newfoundland. -   J. Wildlife Management 32: 729-746.

Bergerud, A.T., F. Manuel and H. Whalen. 1968. The Harvest Reduction by a Moose Population in Newfoundland.  -   J. Wildlife Management 32: 722-728.

Boyce, R.L. 1988. Wind Direction and Fir Wave Travel. -  Can. J. For. Res. 18: 461-466.

Braathe, P. 1995. Birch Dieback - Caused by Prolonged Early Spring Thaws and Subsequent Frost. -  Norwegian Journal of Agricultural Sciences. Supplement No. 20 (59 pages). -  Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Ås, Norway.

Brawn, K. and J.G. Ogden III. 1977.  Lichen Diversity and Abundance as Affected by Traffic Volume in an Urban Environment. -  Urban Ecology 2: 235-244.

Burnett, W.C., S.B. Jones, T.J. Mabry and W.G. Padolina. 1974.  Sesquiterpene lactones - Insect Feeding Deterrents in Vernonia. - Biochem. System. Ecol. 2: 25‑29.

Calhoun, L.A., L.A. Calhoun, J.A. Findlay, J.D. Miller and N.J. Whitney. 1992. Metabolites Toxic to Spruce Budworm from Balsam Fir Needle Endophytes.  Mycol. Res. 96(4): 281-286.

Christmas, M. 1980. Ascospore Discharge and Germination in Xanthoria parietina. -   Lichenologist  12: 403-406.

Clark, C.L.,J.D. Miller and N.J. Whitney. 1989. Toxicity of Conifer Needle Endophytes to Spruce Budworm. -  Mycol. Res. 93(4): 508-512.

Clayden, S.R. 1997a.  Campobello to Avalon: A Lichen Saga. -  N.B. Naturalist 24(2): 72-74.

Clayden, S.R. 1997b.  Seasonal Variation in Ascospore Discharge by Rhizocarpon lecanorinum.  -  The Lichenologist 29: 495-499.

Connolly, J.D., A.A. Freer, K.Kalb and S.Huneck. 1984. Eriodermin, a Dichlorodepsidone from the Lichen Erioderma physcioides -  Crystal Structure Analysis.  - Phytochemistry 23(4):  857-858.

Cox, R.M., K.B. Kouterick, J.E. Hurley, J.W. Malcolm, J.M. Skelly and S.P. Pennypacker. 1998. Fundy Fogs: Their Changing Chemistry and Impacts on Two Birch Species. - Conference on Fog and Fog Collection, Vancouver, Canada, 19‑24 July 1998.

Cox, R.M., G. Lemieux and M. Lodin. 1996. The Assessment and Condition of Fundy White Birches in relation to Ambient Exposure to Acid Marine Fogs. -  Can J. For. Res. 26: 682-688.

Cox, R.M., J. Spavold-Tims and R.N. Hughes.1989. Acid Fog and Ozone: Their Possible Role in Birch Deterioration around the Bay of Fundy, Canada. -  Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 48: 263-276.

Crandall-Stotler, B., R.E. Stotler and P. Geissler.1987. A Biosystematic Study of the Subspecies of Frullania tamarisci (L.). -   The Bryologist 90(4): 287-308. - Shows profiles of flavanoids, sesquiterpene lactones and dissimilar protein banding patterns of the phosphoglucoisomerases. The chemical diversity of biologically active flavonoids (i.e., flavone and isoflavone glycosides) and sesquiterpene lactones in these hepatics may have provided an ideal environment for the establishment and growth of the early symbiotic stages in the life cycle of Erioderma pedicellatum, according to ideas expressed by W. Maass.

Crum, H.A. and L.E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of Eastern North America.  Columbia University Press, N.Y. - States that Leucodon sciuroides reported by Tuomikoski et al. (1973) from Newfoundland is Leucodon brachypus var. andrewsianus (which may be encountered in some of the habitats of Erioderma).

Delaney, B.B. and M. Cahill. 1976. A Pattern of Forest Types on Ribbed Moraines in Eastern Newfoundland.  Can. J. For. Res. 8: 116-120.

Denison, R., B. Caldwell, B. Bormann, L. Eldred, C. Swanberg and S. Anderson. 1976. The effects of acid rain on nitrogen fixation in Western Washington conifereous forests. U.S. Dept. Agric. For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. In, Proc. 1st Int. Symp. Acid Precip. For. Ecosystems 933-949.

Directoratet for Naturforvaltning. 1994. Kystgranskogen i Midt-Norge. - Tungasletta 2 - 7005 Trondheim.  -   On page 2 are two colour photographs taken by Jon Arne Saeter in the Salmonier Nature Park in October of 1993, one being Erioderma pedicellatum on the trunk of an Abies balsamea, and the other being the corresponding habitat photograph entitled “Boreal Rain Forest in Canada”.

Elix, J.A., D.O. Chester, K.L. Gaul, J.L. Parker, and J.H. Wardlaw. 1989. The Identification and Synthesis of Further Lichen β-Orcinol para-Depsides.  - Aust. J. Chem. 42: 1191-1199. -  Includes methyl 5-chloronorobtusatate, a mixed depside with an orcinol type of ring B from an unidentified species of Erioderma in the Azuay District of Ecuador (on the road the between Gualaceo and General Plaza at 3100 m alt.; leg. Arvidsson and Nilson # 1722, GB). The species is most probably a hybrid which had been formed from suitable parents (including E. wrightii !) in relatively recent times (i.e. after the formation of the Andes).

Elix, J.A., J.E. Evans, and T.H. Nash. 1988. New Depsides from Dimelaena Lichens. - Aust. J. Chem. 41: 1789-1796. - Includes the chemical synthesis of wrightiin and other 3-chloro derivatives of orcinol based depsides. The presence of wrightiin and of an accompanying un-identified constituent (which is most probably identical with conwrightiin) has been confirmed in a specimen of Erioderma wrightii from Ecuador.

Elix, J.A., U.A. Jenie, L. Arvidsson, P.M. Jørgensen, and P.W. James. 1986. New Depsidones from the Lichen Genus Erioderma. -  Aust. J. Chem. 39: 719-722. - Describes the Extraction of pannarin related β-orcinol depsidones from the “Chemical Race of E. chilense from the Azores” and their separation by HPLC.

Elix, J.A., I. Mahadevan, J.H. Wardlaw, L. Arvidsson, and P.M. Jørgensen. 1987. New Depsides from Erioderma Lichens. -  Aust. J. Chem. 40: 1581-1590. -  β-Orcinol type of depsides in an unidentified species from Loja Province in Ecuador (6 km South from Saraguru, collected at 3000 m alt. by L. Arvidsson and D. Nilson under # 2134, GB) which include methyl 4-O-demethylbarbatate and its 5-chloro derivative (which are the non-aldehydic equivalents to the cortical depsides atranorin and chloratranorin) as well as five fully substituted metabolites of the methyl Eriodermate series. - This species is a good candidate for having been the donor of genes for the formation of aromatic ring A in the mixed depside methyl 5-chloronorobtusatate (see comments under reference for Elix et al. 1989). The latter metabolite occurs in an apparent cross between this species and Erioderma wrightii.

Farmer, A.M., J.F. Bates and J.N.B. Bell. 1992. Chapter 11.  Ecophysiological Effects of Acid Rain on Bryophytes and Lichens,  pp. 284-313.  In: Bryophytes and Lichens in a Changing Environment, ed. by J.W. Bates and A.M. Farmer.  Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Fos, S., V.I. Deltoro, A. Calatayud, and E. Barreno. 1999.  Changes in Water Economy in Relation to Anatomical and Morphological Characteristics During Thallus Development in Parmelia acetabulum. -  Lichenologist 31(4): 375-387. - Shows that young thalli have a very limited water holding capacity and that they are not as yet in possession of a fully functional lipophilic boundary layer in the upper cortex which would delay the evapo-transpiration of water during dry weather periods. 

Galloway, D.J. and P.M. Jørgensen. 1987. Studies in the Lichen Family Pannariaceae II.  The Genus Leioderma Nyl. - Lichenologist 19(4): 345-400.

Gauslaa, Y. 1985. The Ecology of Lobarion pulmonariae and Parmelion caperatae in Quercus Dominated Forests in South-West Norway. -  Lichenologist 17(2): 117‑140.

Gauslaa, Y. 1995. The Lobarion, an Epiphylic Community of Ancient Forests Threatened by Acid Rain. - Lichenologist 27(1): 59-76.

Gowan, S.P. and I.M. Brodo. 1988. The Lichens of Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada. - The Bryologist 91: 225-325.

Hawksworth, D.L. and F. Rose.1970. Qualitative Scale for Estimating Sulphur Dioxide Air Pollution in England and Wales using Epiphytic Lichens. - Nature (London) 227: 145-148.

Hawksworth, D.L. and F. Rose. 1976. Lichens as Pollution Monitors. - Studies in Biology No.66. - London: Edward Arnold. 

Holien, H., G. Gaarder and A. Håpnes. 1995. Erioderma pedicellatum Still Present but Highly Endangered in Europe. -  Graphis Scripta 7: 79-84.

Holien, H. and Tønsberg. 1996. Boreal regnskog i Norge - habitatet for trøndelagselementets lavarter. -  Blyttia 54 (4): 157-177.

James, P.W. 1973. The Effects of Air Pollutants, other than Hydrogen Fluoride and Sulfur Dioxide on Lichens in Air Pollution and Lichens. - Athlone Press of the University of London, London, pp. 143-175.

James, P.W. 1982. Lichens and Air Pollution. A booklet to accompany the wall chart published by The British Museum of Natural History, B.P. Educational Services, pp. 1-29. - Detailed description of the Zone Scale for the estimation of mean sulphur dioxide levels in England and Wales (adapted from Hawksworth and Rose in Nature, London 227: 145-148); with good descriptions and drawings.

Jørgensen, P.M. 1972.   Erioderma pedicellatum (=E. boreale) in New Brunswick, Canada. -  The Bryologist 75: 369-371. -  This refers to Hue’s publication on Solorina in which the description of the lichen Pannaria pedicellata (the basionym of E. pedicellatum) had been included.

Jørgensen, P.M. 1990.  Trøndelav (Erioderma pedicellatum) - Norges mest gatefulle plante ? Blyttia 48: 119-123. - Is referring to the origin of the genus Erioderma in Gondwana Land.

Jørgensen, P.M. 2001. The present status of the names applicable to species and infraspecific taxa of Erioderma (lichenized ascomycetes) included in Zahlbruckner’s Catalogus. Taxon 50: 525-541.

Jørgensen, P.M. and D.J. Galloway 1989.  Studies in the Lichen Family Panariaceae III.  The Genus Fuscoderma, with Additional Notes and a Revised Key to Leioderma. - Lichenologist 21(4): 295-301.

Kouterick, K.B., J.M. Skelly,  S.P. Pennypacker and R.M. Cox.  1998. -  Acidic Fog and Septoria betulae Pass.  Impacts on Two Birch Species along the Bay of Fundy, Canada.  -  Conference on Fog and Fog Collection. Vancouver, Canada, 19-24 July 1998.

Lamb, I.M. 1954. Lichens of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. -  National Museum of Canada Bulletin. No. 132 pp. 239-313.

Maass, W.S.G. 1980a.  Lichens as biological Indicators of Pollution. In: Proc. Symposium on Environmental Studies in Jamaica, University of the West Indies, Mona, May 25 and 26, 1979.

Maass, W.S.G. 1980b.  Erioderma pedicellatum in North America: A Case Study of a Rare and Endangered Lichen. -  Proc. N.S. Inst. Sci. 30: 69-87.

Maass, W.S.G. 1983. New Observations on Erioderma in North America. -  Nordic J. Bot. 3: 567-575.

Maass, W.S.G. 1991. Unpublished Distributional Maps of Rare Lichens in the Cape Chignecto area, based upon surveys between 1982 and 1991. Prepared for the NS Department of Natural Resources.

Maass, W.S.G.  (in preparation for 2003a).  Effects of Long Range Transported Industrial Air Pollution upon Cyanophilic Lichen Epiphytes and their Phorophytes along a Gradient Between the New England Mountains and Newfoundland. - Presented as a lecture at the LICONS meeting held in Birmensdorf near Zürich, Switzerland, in the early part of September 1999.  See Abstracts for International Conference on Lichen Conservation Biology, Licons, 30.8.-3.9.1999 Birmensdorf.

Maass, W.S.G. (In preparation for 2003b). A Hypothetical Outline of Palaeozoic Migrations of the Lichen Genera Leioderma and Erioderma and of the Environmental Conditions that may have been Responsible for the Biochemical Evolution of Erioderma, of other Ancient Genera of Lichens and of Symbiotic or Free-living Fungi from Geologically Unstable Marine Environments. - To be submitted to “Symbiosis” for publication. - Will contain an update on the formation

of the hybrid species E. pedicellatum in the northern parts of South America and on its adventurous journeys from there into the Northern Hemisphere.

Maass, W.S.G. and A.F. Hanson. 1986. Wrightiin, a new Chlorinated Depside from Erioderma wrightii Tuck.  (Ascolichenes). - Zeitschr. f. Naturforsch. 41-b: 1589‑1592.

Maass, W.S.G. and D.H.S. Richardson. 1994. Report to Nova Scotia Power Inc. on  “A Natural Vegetation Baseline Study involving Lichens and Sphagnum Mosses as Bioindicators” as part of the Air Effects Monitoring Program around the Point Aconi Generating Station (Unit No 1). 69 pp.

McHugh, Sherry. 1998. A study on the endangered lichen Erioderma pedicellatum in Lockyer’s Waters, Newfoundland. Youth Services Canada Project. Newfoundland.

Moberg, R. and I. Holmåsen. 1982. Lavar. En fälthandbok - Interpublishing, Stockholm. - Contains photographic evidence of air pollution damage to thalli of Erioderma pedicellatum and to the branch on which they had been growing.

Nieboer, E., J.D. McFarlane and D.H.S. Richardson. 1984. Modification of Plant Cell Buffering Capacities by Gaseous Air Pollutants in Koziol, M., and F.R. Whatley (eds.), Gaseous Air Pollutants and Plant Metabolites, Butterworths, London, pp. 313-333.

Norwegian Forestry Journal Statskog. 1995  Nr.1.  Contains an excellent colour photograph of the second last thallus of Erioderma pedicellatum encountered in Norway.  The photograph had been taken by Jon-Arne Saeter in 1994.

Piervittori, R., L. Usai, F. Alessio and M. Maffei. 1997. The Effect of Simulated Acid Rain on Surface Morphology and n-Alkane Composition of Pseudevernia furfuracea. - Lichenologist 29(2): 191-198.

Quilhot, W., B. Didyk, V. Gambaro and  J.A. Gabarino. 1983.  Studies on Chilean Lichens VI.  Depsidones from Erioderma chilense. -  J. Nat. Prod. 46: 942-943.

Richardson, D.H.S. 1992. Pollution Monitoring with Lichens.  Naturalists’ Handbook: 19.  Richmond Publishing Co. Ltd., P.O. Box 963, Slough, SL2 3RS, England.

Ringius, Gordon. 1997. Evaluation of potential impacts of development on Erioderma pedicellatum in Eastern Newfoundland. Canadian Forest Services Review.

Robertson, A. 1998. The Boreal Felt Lichen (Erioderma pedicellatum (Hue) P.M. Jørg.) in Newfoundland. Geographical Distribution and Dynamics of its Habitats in Forested Landscapes. Prepared for Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods, Forestry, Wildlife and Inland Fish Branch.

Scheidegger, C. 1996. Copy of letter sent by Dr. C. Scheidegger to the Right Honourable Brian Tobin, Prime Minister of NF, dated October 30, 1996. - The letter is containing his ideas about the complex reproductive strategies of Erioderma, about the limited life span of its thalli, and about its life cycles being intimately tied to certain ecological stages in the growth of coniferous trees within a more or less undisturbed forest environment.

Thompson, I.D. and W.J. Curran. 1993. A Reexamination of Moose Damage to Balsam Fir-White Birch Forests in Central Newfoundland: 27 Years Later. - Can. J. For. Res. 23: 1388-1395.

Todd, D. 1988. The Effects of Host Genotype, Growth Rate, and Needle Age on the Distribution of a Mutualistic, Endophytic Fungus in Douglas Fir Plantations. - Can. J. For. Res. 18: 601-605.

Tønsberg, T. 1993.  Additions to the Lichen Flora of North America. - The Bryologist 96: 138-141.

Tuomikoski, R.,T. Koponen and T. Ahti. 1973. The Mosses of the Island of Newfoundland. -  Ann. Bot. Fennici 10: 217-264. -  Regarding the report of the moss Leucodon for Newfoundland.

Veinotte, C.A. 1998. A Comparative Analysis of Plant Communities in Natural, Mixed-Species Forests and Silvicultural Plantations within the Greater Fundy Ecosystem, New Brunswick. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Science. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. September 1998.

Wadleigh, M.A. and D.M. Blake. 1999. Tracing Sources of Atmospheric Sulphur Using Epiphytic Lichens. - Environmental Pollution 106: 265-271.

Wolseley, P.A. 1995. A Global Perspective on the Status of Lichens and their Conservation. -  Mitt. Eidgenöss. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft 70: 11-27.

Yetman, D., 1999. The Health and Population Viability of Erioderma pedicellatum ((Hue) P.M. Jørg.) in Jipujijkuei Kuespem Provincial Park and the Proposed Lockyer’s Waters Ecological Reserve.  A report submitted under contract to Parks and Natural Areas by David Yetman, B.A., B.Sc.

The Authors

Senior Author

Wolfgang S.G. Maass was born on 23 October 1929 in Helsinki/Finland to a German father and a Swedish Finnish mother and went to Primary School both in Finland and Germany and to Highschool in Greifswald on the Baltic Sea. For two years he studied Botany and Chemistry at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University in Greifswald (East Germany) and then at the Eberhard Karl’s University in Tübingen (West Germany). He was fortunate in having had outstanding teachers in biochemistry and plant physiology, Professor Adolph Butenandt (who had received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on testosterone and who later became the Director of the Max Planck Gesellschaft) and Professor Erwin Bünning (the re-discoverer of the biological clock). He obtained his doctoral degree (Dr.rer.nat.) in 1957, based on a thesis entitled “Light growth reactions and Phototropism in Phycomyces blakesleanus”. For half a year he was employed as a Research Assistant in the Botanical Institute of the University of Tübingen. From 1958-1960 he worked at the Max Planck Institut für Eiweiss -und Lederforschung on the chemistry of tannins in Norway spruce (Picea abies) and isolated the stilben glucoside “piceatannol” from its needles. This compound had previously been shown to be present in the bark where the aglycone was held responsible for the formation of tannins.

Through having taken part in one of Professor Bünning’s traditional field trips to Torne Lappmark and in field trips with Professor Helmut Gams to Lule Lappmark and the Monte del Vesuvio near Naples, he had been introduced to the Floras of the Arctic and of the Mediterranean. He had also been commissioned to make a contribution to the “Kleine Kryptogamenflora von Helmut Gams” by supplying a key to the identification of Sphagnum mosses.

In 1960 he applied for a Postdoctoral Fellowship, got married to Regine Bürgener and emigrated to Canada. For about half a year he worked at Dalhousie University with Professor Kraft von Maltzahn on gametophyte cultures of Sphagnum and tissue cultures from the cambium of Norway spruce but these projects were abandoned after Professor von Maltzahn had left for Europe on his sabbatical leave. He then went to work as a guest researcher in the “Atlantic Regional Laboratory” of the N.R.C. with Jim Craigie on ion exchange in peatmosses and on the distribution of peatmosses in Atlantic Canada.

After his having been offered a staff position at the same Institution he began to work, under the inspiring influences of the late Dr. Arthur Neish and Dr. Neil Towers, on the biosynthesis and chemistry of lichen substances. In 1971-1972 he had been on an outside staff posting in Munich to learn enzymological techniques at the Max-Planck-Institut für Zellchemie under Professor F. Lynen. Unfortunately, work on the pulvinic acid synthetase in Pseudocyphellaria crocata and in Letharia vulpina ran into unsurmountable difficulties because of interferences by the large amounts of metabolites in these lichens. It would be necessary to grow large batches of mycobiont cultures under controlled conditions before activating the pulvinic acid synthetase for the isolation of the enzyme.  In 1975 he published the first 2-directional thin layer chromatography system for the separation of lichen acids - a technique which was subsequently refined by the Culbersons at Duke University (see Can. J. Bot. 1975 and J. Chrom. 1976, 1979 and 1981). During his years with N.R.C., he had begun to conduct surveys of the lichen flora of Atlantic Canada, especially after the presence of Erioderma pedicellatum in North America had become known (Ahti and Jørgensen 1971, Jørgensen 1972). Subsequent work had led him to investigate the type locality of E  pedicellatum and to conduct several expeditions to Newfoundland and the adjacent coast of Labrador.

In 1986 he took early retirement but continued fieldwork in the Maritime Provinces. As a Research Associate of Dalhousie University, he participated in surveys and research on the watershed chemistry of southern Nova Scotia and on the Thread-leaved Sundew Drosera filiformis, as well as on the Model Forest Project in and adjacent to the Fundy National Park. In addition, he was given a contract by the Nova Scotia Power Corporation to make use of lichens and peatmosses as potential biomonitors of atmospheric pollution around the newly constructed Point Aconi Power Plant. A letter of agreement by COSEWIC had been awarded to him in 1996 and had kept him busy until now.

Information on the chemistry of Erioderma and on the biochemical evolution of the species has been provided by the senior author, who is also responsible for the distributional maps, the growth measurements of young rapidly expanding thalle, for the bark acidity measurements and the water retention capacities for even-aged barks of balsam fir and black spruce .

Junior Author

David Jason Yetman was born in Red Bay Labrador on November 26, 1973. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Carleton University of Ottawa in June 1995 and a Bachelor of Science with Honours, in Biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland in May 2000. He received an NSERC research scholarship in 1999 to complete a Masters degree on the genetic variability of Erioderma pedicellatum within Newfoundland and between extirpated Swedish populations. The research was carried out both in Newfoundland and Switzerland, at the Swiss Federal Research Institute. All the data have been collected and a draft of the Masters thesis is near completion. Currently David is the executive director of the Labrador Straits Development Corporation where he is working on several environmental research projects.


Page 15