Bacidia phyllopsoropsis (common name: Water Gap Surprise) is known from two populations in a geographically restricted area that is adjacent to population centers and potentially subject to multiple anthropogenic impacts.
This species is known from two populations in a very small area of the Delaware Water Gap area along the borders of Pennsylvania and New Jersey in eastern North America.
Demographic studies are needed to assess and monitor populations sizes.
Bacidia phyllopsoropsis grows on moist, shaded calcareous or weakly calcareous rock outcrops within a very narrow geographic area.
Of the two known populations one is on federally protected lands while the other is not. Both sites are located in a region that has been, and continues to be, heavily influenced by previous anthropogenic activity. Major threats to the species come from large scale natural habitat conversion, development and maintenance of infrastructure such as transmission lines, as well as small scale alteration of microhabitats and humidity regimes as a result of larger scale landscape changes or changes in forest structure due to invasives.
One known population is in a national recreation area and the other is on private land. Detailed surveys for additional populations should be undertaken in the immediate vicinity and populations on non-public lands may be a concern. Many conservation actions can be taken including controlling the hemlock adelgid on Tsuga canadensis, educating and training land managers and local botanists to identify the species so we can monitor its health and federally listing the species as endangered in the United States.
The distribution of this species is well understood at a broad scale but further research at local scales is needed. 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.
Harris, R. C./ Lendemer, J. C. 2006: Contributions to the lichen flora of Pennsylvania: additions to the checklist of lichens of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. - Opuscula Philolichenum 3: 69-78.
Harris, RC/ Lendemer, JC 2005: Contributions to the lichen flora of Pennsylvania: a checklist of lichens collected during the first Howard Crum Bryological Workshop, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. - Opuscula Philolichenum 2: 1-10.