• 1Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Ramalina portosantana Krog

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Scientific name
Ramalina portosantana
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Proposed by
André Aptroot
Göran Thor
André Aptroot
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg, Sergio Perez-Ortega

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Thallus saxicolous, ascending, becoming subpendulous on steep rock faces, rigid, up to 6 cm long, with a number of branches from a holdfast up to 5 mm wide. Branches greyish yellow, sometimes partly pale brown, solid, simple or sparingly branched, subterete or more or less complanate, 1-2 mm wide, tapering gradually towards blunt apices, surface rugulose, with shiny corticate areas interspersed with low, irregularly reticulate ridges which here and there develop pseudocyphellae. Cortex up to 80 um thick, of thick-walled, mainly anticlinal hyphae. Chondroid tissue well-developed, occasionally adjoining the cortex but mostly forming numerous strands embedded in a dense medulla. Soredia absent. Apothecia not seen. Pycnidia mostly with black ostioles.
Chemistry (TLC): Salazinic acid, usnic acid (trace).

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This macrolichen belongs to a genus with (for fungi) many species with narrow distribution. It occurs only on one volcano on a small island.

Described long ago and never found anywhere else, but always found by lichenologists visiting the only location

This species has not been assessed further because its phylogenetic independence from Ramalina decipiens is not certain.

Geographic range

Only on the summit area of the Pico do Facho volcano on the island of Porto Santo
Growing together with (other) endemic macrolichens, such as Anzia centrifuga, Ramalina confertula, R. erosa, R. jamesii, R. nematodes and R. timdaliana.

Population and Trends

On exposed lava rock on and near the summit of the Pico do Facho, Pico do Castelo and Pico Branco volcanoes on Porto Santo, occupying an area of at most several square decameters.

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

On exposed lava rock.

Rocky Areas [e.g. inland cliffs, mountain peaks]


Direct:  Increased climbing of the summit by tourists will deteriorate the populations.
Direct: Further collecting by lichenologists or naturalists, which should be forbidden.
Indirect: Climate change may change this unique habitat, and even with subtle changes the chances are high that the species goes extinct soon. It will in any case not be able to successfully colonize another locality, not on its own, and possible also not with human help, as the conditions are apparently critical. Why else would this species be restricted to such a small area in the world?

Tourism & recreation areasIntentional use (species being assessed is the target)

Conservation Actions

Tourism to the summit of the Pico de Facho should be strictly regulated, either by forbading accees altogether (which will impossible to control) or rather by opening a small trail and putting an information shield in place alerting the tourist on the unique lichens present, and the harm done to them by trampling.
The species should feature on a leaflet with protected plants.

Site/area protectionAwareness & communications

Research needed

Use and Trade


H. Krog (1990) New Ramalina species from Porto Santo, Madeira. Lichenologist 22: 241-247.
A. Aptroot & F. Schumm. 2008. Key to Ramalina species known from Atlantic islands, with two new species from the Azores. Sauteria 15: 21-57.

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted