Coccotrema maritimum has a very narrow geographic distribution and is restricted ecologically to growing almost exclusively on maritime rocks within the salt-spray zone. The geographic and ecological range of this species makes it sensitive to environmental change.
The range of this species is narrowly restricted to the Queen Charlotte Islands, southeastern Alaska, and one known population from the Aleutian Islands.
No research has been done to document the number and size of C. maritumum populations.
Population Trend: Uncertain
This species only occurs on rocks in maritime regions. It grows at or just above the spray of saltwater (Brodo 1973).
The rarity and very narrow distribution of this species makes it susceptible to extinction due to stochastic events. This threat of extinction is exacerbated by climate change and air pollution.
Ensuring that populations of this species are not affected by any human recreation or resource extraction activity is essential. Additionally, it should be listed in the United States as an endangered species and in Canada it should be protected by COSEWIC. Additionally, education and training of land managers and local botanists to identify the species should be conducted, and contracted experts should be hired to conduct detailed monitoring at various time intervals (every 5 to 10 years).
Research on the population size and genetics would greatly enhance our understanding of this species. Additionally, long-term monitoring projects need to be conducted.
Brodo, I. M. 1973. The lichen genus Coccotrema in North America. The Bryologist 76: 260-270.