Leprocaulon terricola is narrowly endemic to a small area of coastal southern California (Channel Islands and nearby mainland). It occurs in biological soil crust communities that have been heavily impacted by past activities and continue to be threatened by multiple forces.
Leprocaulon terricola is narrowly endemic to a small area of coastal southern California including the Channel Islands mainland sites near San Diego.
Demographic studies are needed to assess and monitor populations sizes. Populations are currently presumed to be stable although extant populations likely represent remnants of a once larger range in the region.
Population Trend: Stable
This species occurs in biological soil crusts in coastal areas together with other endemic species such as Leprocaulon americanum.
Historical activities including large scale conversion of natural habitats, intensive grazing, logging, mining, and recreation have led to habitat degradation throughout the region where this species occurs. Current threats include further conversion of natural habitats, habitat shifts/alteration due to climate change, air pollution, road/utility construction and maintenance, recreation and other activities that significantly disturb fragile soil crust communities.
Conservation actions that can be taken include educating and training land managers and local botanists to identify the species so we can monitor its health as well as contracting experts to conduct detailed monitoring at various time intervals (every 5 to 10 years), federally listing the species as endangered in the United States, and restoration of the habitats in which the species occurs. Further conservation of lands where existing populations occur, and intensive searches of inaccessible coastal areas, are also needed.
Further research that will aid in the conservation of this species includes intensive searches for additional extant populations, 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. 2010: Notes on Lepraria s.l. (Lecanoromycetes, Ascomycota) in North America: New species, new reports, and preliminary keys. - Brittonia 62(3): 267-292.
Knudsen, K./ J. Kocourková 2012: The Annotated Checklist of Lichens, Lichenicolous and Allied Fungi of Channel Islands National Park. - Opuscula Philolichenum 11: 145-302.