Rinodina brodoana (common name: Ernie’s Mountain Treasure) is endemic to the southern Appalachian Mountains where it is known only from two populations in mature old-growth low to middle elevation hardwood forests. We assert this species merits ranking due to the limited known geographic range, small number of known extant populations (two), and the small number of individuals known (<50).
The species is restricted to a small region within the southern Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, U.S.A.
Demographic studies are needed to assess and monitor populations sizes. Our current knowledge of the species suggests that its populations are stable.
Population Trend: Stable
The species is restricted to mature middle and low elevation hardwood forests where it only is known to occur on the boles of large, mature hardwoods.
The threats to this species are habitat changes (macro- and micro- scale) as a result of climate change.
There are many conservation actions that can be taken including monitoring for changes in microhabitats/microclimates that might impact the species, educating and training land managers and local botanists to identify the species so we can monitor its health, federally listing the species as endangered in the United States, and improving air quality regulation.
Further research that will aid in the conservation of this species includes population assessments and monitoring, population genetics studies, and ecological studies that incorporate threats to the species. Additionally, a species recovery plan needs to be written.
Lendemer, J.C., E. Tripp and J.W. Sheard. 2014. A review of Rinodina (Physciaceae) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park highlights the growing significance of this “island of biodiversity” in eastern North America. The Bryologist 117(3): 259-281.
Lendemer, J.C., R.C. Harris and E.A. Tripp. 2013. The lichens and allied fungi of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: an annotated checklist with comprehensive keys. Memoirs of The New York Botanical Garden 104: i-viii, 1-152