Lichen rangiferinus L. (1753)
Cladina rangiferina (L.) Nyl. (1866)
Top view of C. rangiferina The underside of C.
CLADONIA RANGIFERINA, also known as REINDEER LICHEN (c.p. Sw.
renlav), lat. , is a light-colored, fruticose lichen belonging to the
Cladoniaceae family. It grows in both hot and cold climates in
well-drained, open environments. Found primarily in areas of alpine
tundra , it is extremely cold-hardy.
Other common names include REINDEER MOSS and CARIBOU MOSS, but these
names may be misleading since it is not a moss . As the common names
suggest, reindeer lichen is an important food for reindeer (caribou) ,
and has economic importance as a result. Synonyms include Cladina
rangiferina and Lichen rangiferinus.
Reindeer lichen, like many lichens, is slow growing (3–11 mm per
year) and may take decades to return once overgrazed, burned,
trampled, or otherwise consumed.
A similar-looking species also known by the common name Reindeer
Cladonia portentosa .
* 1 Description
* 2 Habitat and conservation
* 3 Bioactive compounds
* 4 Uses
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
Thalli are fruticose, and extensively branched, with each branch
usually dividing into three or four (sometimes two); the thicker
branches are typically 1–1.5 mm in diameter. The color is grayish,
whitish or brownish grey. C. rangiferina forms extensive mats up to 10
cm tall. The branching is at a smaller angle than that of Cladonia
portentosa . It lacks a well-defined cortex (a protective layer
covering the thallus , analogous to the epidermis in plants), but
rather, a loose layer of hyphae cover the photobionts. The photobiont
associated with the reindeer lichen is Trebouxia irregularis . It
grows on humus , or on soil over rock. it also grows mostly in taiga
and the tundra.
HABITAT AND CONSERVATION
Cladonia rangiferina often dominates the ground in boreal pine
forests and open, low-alpine sites in a wide range of habitats, from
humid, open forests, rocks and heaths . A specific biome in which this
lichen is represented is the Boreal forests of Canada .
In certain parts of its range this lichen is a threatened species .
For example in the British Duchy of
Cornwall it is protected under the
Biodiversity Action Plan
Biodiversity Action Plan .
A variety of bioactive compounds have been isolated and identified
from C. rangiferina, including abietane , labdane , isopimarane , the
abietane diterpenoids hanagokenols A and B, ontuanhydride, sugiol,
5,6-dehydrosugiol, montbretol, cis-communic acid, imbricatolic acid,
15-acetylimbricatoloic acid, junicedric acid,
7α-hydroxysandaracopimaric acid, β-resorylic acid, atronol, barbatic
acid, homosekikaic acid, didymic acid and condidymic acid. Some of
these compounds have mild inhibitory activities against
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant
Enterococci . Exposure to UV-B radiation induces the accumulation of
usnic acid and melanic compounds.
Usnic acid is thought to play a
role in protecting the photosymbiont by absorbing excess UV-B.
This lichen can be used in the making of aquavit , and is sometimes
used as decoration in glass windows. The lichen is used as a
traditional remedy for removal of kidney stones by the Monpa in the
alpine regions of the
West Kameng district of Eastern
Himalaya . The
Inland Dena\'ina used reindeer lichen for food by crushing the dry
lichen and then boiling it or soaking it in hot water until it becomes
soft. They eat it plain or, preferably, mixed with berries, fish eggs,
or lard. The Inland Dena'ina also boil reindeer lichen and drink the
juice as a medicine for diarrhea . Due to acids present in lichens,
their consumption may cause an upset stomach, especially if not well
A study released in May 2011 claims that some species of lichens,
Cladonia rangiferina, are able to degrade the deadly prion
implicated in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) through
the enzyme serine protease.
* List of
* ^ "
Cladonia rangiferina (L.) Weber ex F.H. Wigg. 1780". MycoBank
. International Mycological Association. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
* ^ Rook EJS. (11 October 1999). "
Cladonia species. Reindeer
lichens". Retrieved 2012-03-25.
* ^ Geiser L, McCune B. (1997). Macrolichens of the Pacific
Northwest. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press. p. 62.
ISBN 0-87071-394-9 .
* ^ Raine M. (2009). Nature of Snowdonia: A Beginner\'s Guide to
the Upland Environment. Pesda Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-906095-10-9 .
* ^ Rikkinen J. (1995). "What's behind the pretty colours?: a study
on the photobiology of lichens". Bryobrothera. 4: 16.
* ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Black Spruce: Picea mariana,
GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg Archived October 5, 2011, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Yoshikawa, Kazuko; Kokudo, Naoki; Tanaka, Masami; Nakano,
Tatsuro; Shibata, Hirofumi; Aragaki, Naokatsu; Higuchi, Tomihiko;
Hashimoto, Toshihiro (2008). "Novel
Abietane Diterpenoids and Aromatic
Cladonia rangiferina and Their Antimicrobial Activity
against Antibiotics Resistant Bacteria". Chemical & Pharmaceutical
Bulletin. 56 (1): 89–92. PMID 18175983 . doi :10.1248/cpb.56.89 .
* ^ Nybakken, Line; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta (2006). "UV-B induces
usnic acid in reindeer lichens". The Lichenologist. 38 (5): 477–85.
doi :10.1017/S0024282906005883 .
* ^ Bjerke, Jarle W.; Lerfall, Kjetil; Elvebakk, Arve (2002).
"Effects of ultraviolet radiation and PAR on the content of usnic and
divaricatic acids in two arctic-alpine lichens". Photochemical &
Photobiological Sciences. 1 (9): 678–85. PMID 12665305 . doi
* ^ Bjerke, J; Elvebakk, A; Dominguez, E; Dahlback, A (2005).
"Seasonal trends in usnic acid concentrations of Arctic, alpine and
Patagonian populations of the lichen". Phytochemistry. 66 (3):
337–44. PMID 15680990 . doi :10.1016/j.phytochem.2004.12.007 .
* ^ Rout, Jayashree; Kar, Ashish; Upreti, D. K. (2005).
"Traditional remedy for kidney stones from a high altitude lichen:
Cladonia rangiferina (L.) Wigg (reindeer moss) of Eastern Himalaya".
Ethnobotany. 17 (1/2): 164–6.
* ^ "Caribou
Cladonia rangiferina". Retrieved 2009-01-12.
* ^ Johnson, CJ; Bennett, JP; Biro, SM; et al. (2011). "Degradation
of the disease-associated prion protein (PrP(TSE)), the probable
etiological agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies
(TSEs) by a serine protease from lichens" . PLoS ONE. 6: e19836. PMC
3092769 . PMID 21589935 . doi :10.1371/journal.pone.0019836 . CS1
maint: Explicit use of et al. (link )