Parmotrema bifidum was collected in Central Brazil in 1894 by G.O. Malme, and formally described only in 2020. It was never found again, and the habitat where it grows is constantly threatened by fires and habitat loss.
AOO = 4-60 km2, EOO = 4-60 km2
locations = 1 (fires are the most serious threat)
Numbers of individuals = 1-50 (up to 250)
CR B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(ii); D
Parmotrema bifidum is known only from the type locality (Chapada dos Guimarães, MT). It is a very characteristic species of Parmotrema that was collected in Central Brazil in 1894 by the famous lichenologist G.O. Malme, and formally described only in 2020. It was never found again (including extensive herbaria review).
Also, several famous lichen collectors, including Klaus Kalb, Marcelo Pinto Marcelli and André Aptroot, visited the type locality and did not collect this species again (see for example Aptroot & Souza 2021).
It is thought that Parmotrema bifidum has a very narrow distribution, being possibly endemic to the Mato Grosso highlands.
Population and Trends
Habitat and Ecology
This is a saxicolous lichen that grows over rocks in shadow habitats at the mountain area in the Chapada dos Guimarães region.
Central Brazil is being increasingly threatened by the habitat loss especially by the extensive monocultures and the associated fires, that usually are used for opening new plantation areas but got out of control and also reach supposedly protected areas, such as the mountains and other highlands. It is known that the fire at Cerrado vegetation is the main factor influencing the lichens (Mistry 1998).
Parmotrema bifidum was probably collected in the area that now belongs to the National Park, a protected area with 327,7 km2 (32.769 hectares). Even being a protected area, the occurrence of fire on it is quite common, every year.
Creation of adjacent protected areas and better controlling of fires and forest destruction.
More studies are needed for a better estimation of the existing population, especially new expeditions at the “locus classicus” and adjacent areas. The conditions necessary for the growing of this species are still unknown, because of its rarity.