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  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
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Ramalina fleigiae Gumboski, Eliasaro & R.M. Silveira

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Scientific name
Ramalina fleigiae
Gumboski, Eliasaro & R.M. Silveira
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Preliminary Category
CR A2ce; C1
Proposed by
Emerson Luiz Gumboski
Diogo H. Costa-Rezende, E. Ricardo Drechsler-Santos, Emerson Luiz Gumboski, Thiago Kossmann, Adriano Spielmann
Jessica Allen

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Ramalina fleigiae Gumboski, Eliasaro & R.M. Silveira, in Gumboski, Eliasaro, Scur, Lorenz-Lemke & Borges Da Silveira, Lichenologist 50(5): 547 (2018)
The species is supported by genetic and morphoanatomical data that distinguish it from other known Ramalina species.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Ramalina fleigiae is a saxicolous species from the South of the Atlantic Forest, in a plateau area, ca. 1000m altitude, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil. It was recorded in only two locations, always on rock along rivers, in open places, and with few thalli in each spot. It is believed that it can be submerged for short periods due to its occurrence near the waterline. Other similar environments were previously studied by the lichenologist Dr. Mariana Fleig (with an expressive contribution to Brazilian Lichenology, especially in Rio Grande do Sul State), and later by other lichenologists, but the species was not found (including herbaria review), only other species of the genus. EEO 8-903 km², AOO 8-40 km², 2-4 locations (water pollution/agricultural run-off is the most serious threat), 240 individuals maximum, past decline >80%. The Atlantic Forest constantly suffers from the reduction of its original area mainly due to deforestation (agricultural pressure), including reduction of riparian forest. In addition to modifying natural areas that directly influence the region’s water regime, a possible contamination of rivers by pesticides would certainly affect many species of lichenized fungi that occur there. Added, the Araucaria Forest has been suffering for decades with constant logging, leaving just over 12% of its original cover, and an estimated loss of 36% in the next 30 years. Given the distribution area of ​​Ramalina fleigiae, the few thalli found in the field, the quite expected dispersion capacity, and the impacts suffered by the environment in which it occurs, the species is classified as

CR A2ce; C1 decline in habitat quality (see: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/32975/2829141)

Endangered: EN: B2ab, C1, D.

Geographic range

Ramalina fleigiae occurs only on rocks in some rivers in the plateau of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil. The region comprises the Southern limit of the Atlantic Forest. Always in environments exposed to full sunlight. Recorded only for two locations on two distinct rivers, close to c.55km from each other.

Population and Trends

Population calculation: 12/2 = 6 * 2 * 2 (ramets) * 10 (potential sites) = 240
As these species are long-lived, slow growing, and long-term stable substrate associates, the estimated generation time is 30 years. AOO at known points is 8km², but at estimated points it goes to 40km².
The species occurs in headwater rivers, that is, in conditions of high energy (rapid waters), always crystalline waters (virtually zero turbidity) and cold temperature. In general, these rivers are shallow with few areas that are little deeper, a situation that ends up exposing a significant number of rocks in the bed and banks of the rivers. These rivers run towards the west, that is, to the ‘inland’ of the continent. In this situation, in general, the rivers change their characteristics, increasing the turbidity of the water, with an increase in temperature, and a decrease in the number of exposed rocks, therefore, the occurrence of the species is not expected for environments further west.
Ramalina fleigiae does not produce symbiotic propagules (isidia, soredia), and all thalli found did not present apothecia, therefore, the species’ ability to disperse is limited, with only possible thallus fragmentation, and eventually by dispersal of ascospores. Then, the expected dispersal of the species is quite limited. Few thalli were found in each rock, and along the studied areas, unlike several other species of lichens, few specimens of R. fleigiae were found along the river, seeming to have a predilection for certain points.
The region of occurrence of the species is classified as Araucaria Forest, an ecosystem belonging to the Atlantic Forest Biome. The Araucaria Forest has been suffering for decades with constant exploration and reduction of its original area, leaving just over 12% of its original cover, and an estimated loss of 36% in the next 30 years (Castro et al., 2019). In the present case, deforestation strongly influences the decrease in environmental quality, as it directly affects biodiversity, as well as the region’s water regime. Thus, we suspect the decline of this species population is proportional to the decline in the total habitat area for the Araucaria Forest.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Ramalina fleigiae is known only from two localities in the north-eastern plateau of Rio Grande do Sul State, Southern Brazil. The species colonizes only rocks in the riverbed and waterfalls that are exposed to direct sunlight (some thalli were almost submerged in the water), and occurs at c. 1150m elevation. All thalli are probably temporarily submerged during occasional floods. No thallus was found on rocks that are further from the river. The species probably occurs in nearby rivers but due to very small population sizes these might have been overlooked. The species was not found in similar environments visited by E. Gumboski and other lichenologists in the adjacent states of Santa Catarina and Paraná (Gumboski et al., 2018).

Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane Forest


The region of occurrence of the species is classified as Araucaria Forest, an ecosystem belonging to the Atlantic Forest Biome. The Araucaria Forest has been suffering for decades with constant exploration and reduction of its original area, leaving just over 12% of its original cover, and an estimated loss of 36% in the next 30 years (Castro et al., 2019). Even though the Atlantic Forest is considered a global hotspot and a priority area for conservation (Myers et al., 2000), it suffers from constant threats because it is located in urbanized areas. There has been a habitat decline of Atlantic Forest of over 90% since the 1940’s. Comparing the period 2017-2018 with 2018-2019 there was an increase of about 27% of deforestation in the Atlantic Forest remnants (Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica and Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, 2020). Currently, there are only 12.4% remaining of its original extension in the national territory (Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica 2021) and most forest remnants are smaller than 100 ha and are isolated from each other (Ribeiro et al., 2009) permeated by degraded areas, urban areas, pasture, agriculture, forestry.
This species occurs in conserved fragments of Atlantic Forest (Southern limit) within environmental protection areas, however, the modification of neighboring natural areas (mainly driven by deforestation and farming) that directly influence the region’s water regime, as well as a possible contamination of rivers by pesticides, would certainly affect many species of lichenized fungi that occur there.

Intentional use: large scale (species being assessed is the target) [harvest]Suppression in fire frequency/intensitySoil erosion, sedimentationHerbicides and pesticidesHabitat shifting & alteration

Conservation Actions

Required conservation actions include mainly the management and maintenance of the rivers and riparian forest, as well as increase control and monitoring regarding the use and correct disposal of products used by agriculture and livestock.

Site/area protectionNational level

Research needed

More research is needed to better understand the species distribution and coverage in the region of occurrence, as well as an extensive survey through the rivers with similar habitat in southern Brazil, in search for other potential areas of occurrence. As Ramalina fleigiae does not have symbiotic propagules, no one thallus was found with apothecia, and the registration points are in different rivers from distinct springs (without connection), phylogeographic studies would be very important to clarify the dispersion and occurrence relationships of the species and its (sub)populations.

Population size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecology

Use and Trade

There is no known use/trade of this species.



Castro, M.B., Barbosa, A.C.M.C., Pompeu, P.V. et al. 2019. Will the emblematic southern conifer Araucaria angustifolia survive to climate change in Brazil?. Biodivers Conserv 29, 591–607. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-019-01900-x
Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica. 2021. Mata Atlântica. Available at: https://www.sosma.org.br/causas/mataatlantica/. (Accessed: 18 September 2021).
Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica and Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais. 2020. Atlas dos remanescentes florestais da Mata Atlântica - Período 2018-2019. São Paulo. 61 p. Available at: http://mapas.sosma.org.br/site_media/download/2020_Atlas_Mata_Atlantica_2018-2019_relatorio_tecnico_final.pdf. (Accessed: 18 September 2021).
Gumboski, E.L., Eliasaro, S., Scur, M.C., Lorenz-Lemke, A.P. & Borges Da Silveira, R.M. 2018. A new riparian species of Ramalina (Ramalinaceae) from Brazil, with a key to neotropical saxicolous species. The Lichenologist 50(5): 541-553.
Myers, N.; Mittermeier, R.; Mittermeier, C.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; and Kent, J. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853–858 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/35002501
Ribeiro, M. C.; Metzger, J. P.; Martensen, A. C.; Ponzoni, F. J.; and Hirota, M. M. 2009. The Brazilian Atlantic Forest: How much is left, and how is the remaining forest distributed? Implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 142: 1141-1153.

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted