There are very few known populations of Aspicilia rogeri and its ecology makes it particularly susceptible to a number of threats including grazing, invasive species, and changing fire regimes.
This species grows in the western United States, including Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming (Sohrabi et al. 2011).
No assessment of the population sizes or changes in population sizes and health have been conducted for this species.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Aspicilia rogeri is a vagrant soil lichen that grows in shrub steppe habitats on calcareous soil. It is known from elevations between 1000-2000 m (Sohrabi et al. 2011).
The inland shrub-steppe habitats of western North America, and the species that reside therein, face many threats. Soil lichens, such as Aspicilia rogeri, are particularly sensitive to many of these threats, including grazing, changes in fire regimes, and large scale takeovers by invasive species such as Bromus tectorum. Additional threats include gas, oil, and mineral extraction, as well as installation and maintenance of wind turbines.
There are 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. Additionally, limiting grazing and controlling invasive species where this species is known to occur will help improve the species viability.
Research is needed to better understand the life history and population genetic structure of this species. Additionally, research is needed to determine the most important actions that can be taken to promote the health of this species.
Root, H.T., J. E. D. Miller, and B. McCune. (2012) Biotic soil crust lichen diversity and conservation in shrub-steppe habitats of Oregon and Washington. The Bryologist 114:4, 796-812.
Sohrabi, M., S. Stenroos, F. Hognabba, A. Nordin, and Born Owe-Larsson. 2011. Aspicilia rogeri sp. nov. (Megasporaceae) and other allied vagrant species in North America. The Bryologist 114: 178-189.