Species previously known as a single collection of V. Baranov from ‘Chuya plain’ but sent to numerous herbaria. This is a tiny vagrant lichen consisting of lumps usually not exceeding 1.5 cm in diameter. The surface is made up of slightly convex close-lying squamules with margins bent downwards. This, along with a commonly sphaeric form, imparts the thalli a look of a soccer ball. The species, unlike most vagrant Circinarias, is commonly fertile. Apothecia immersed in sqiamules and covered by a pruina. Spores 4 in ascus, sphaeric. Conidia 22-27 mkm long. These characters together with ITS data allowed us to determine a crustose life form of the species which inhabits stones in the same habitat. The species grows intermixed with Circinaria affinis which is a common species in the Chuya plain.
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
The species is a local endemic of Chuya plain (Altai mountains, Russia). Since its first collection in the 1926 it had not been recollected until the 2016. ITS phylogeny shows its relationships (not highly supported) to Circinaria alpicola, C. aschabadensis and C. jussufii. The species populates stony planes and totally absent on loamy soils. Its lifecycle starts as a crustose species inhabiting pebbles, and later it forms tiny sphaeroid vagrant thalli. The only known habitat is approximately 240000 square metres and is in the close vicinity to a mainroad and Ortolyk settlement. Main treats for the species are gravel mining and grazing. The population of the species can be severely harmed or destroyed during a reconstruction of the road. Some signs of long-standing digging activities are visible at the habitat.
Known from a single locality near Ortolyk, Republic of Altai, Russia.
Population and Trends
The fact that the species has been recollectd in the type locality for 90 years after its first discovery shows a stability of the population unless strong antropogenic factors will be affecting. The changes happened in the last century are uncertain but the population can be diminished or destroyed during road construction works. Sheep farming is the main agricultural activity in the region. Other populations which possibly exist in the Chuya plain are subject to trambling and grazing.
Population Trend: Stable
Habitat and Ecology
The species inhabits cold arid steppes at the altitudes 2000 m a.s.l. Vagrant thalli are freely lying on soil intermixed with stones in a habitat with a poor vegetation. The species has not been found on loamy soils of Chuya plain in communities dominated by grasses and Artemisia.
Use and Trade
Circinaria tominii (Coll. Baranov 24.07.1926) (UPS) A. Paukov
Habitat in Chuya plain. A.Paukov
Ortolyk - the settlement closest to the re-discovered habitat. A. Paukov
Artemisia steppe in the Chuya plain. Populated by other Circinaria species, but not C. tominii. A. Paukov