Lecanora phryganitis (common name: Mealy Fog Fingers) is endemic to coastal central California where it is known from a small geographic area mostly from historical populations. The range of the species has likely been significantly decreased by historical conversion of natural habitats and is further threatened by multiple forces.
Lecanora phryganitis is endemic to coastal central California where it is known from a small geographic area mostly from historical populations
Demographic studies are needed to assess and monitor populations sizes. Extant populations are currently presumed to be stable, although many populations are known only from historical occurrence data.
Population Trend: Stable
This species occurs only on non-calcareous rocks and soil in areas with to regular fog immersion on or near the coast.
Historical activities including large scale conversion of natural habitats, intensive grazing, logging, mining, spread of invasive species, 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 coastal cliff or bluff lichen communities. An additional threat is increased frequency and intensity of wildfires.
Conservation actions that can be taken including 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.
Brodo, IM/ Duran Sharnoff, S/ Sharnoff, S 2001: Lichens of North America. - Yale University Press, New Haven & London. 795 pp.
Ryan, B 1989: The genus Cladidium (lichenized Ascomycotina). - Mycotaxon 34(2): 697-712.
Ryan, BD 1989: A monograph of Lecanora subgen. Placodium sect. Endochloris (lichenized Ascomycotina). - The Bryologist 92(4): 513-522.