Cladonia perforata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Fungi Ascomycota Lecanoromycetes Lecanorales Cladoniaceae

Scientific Name: Cladonia perforata A.Evans
Common Name(s):
English Florida Perforate Reindeer Lichen, Perforate Reindeer Lichen
Taxonomic Notes: Cladonia perforata was named by Alexander Evans based on collections from North Gulf Coast Florida, Okaloosa County. No other names have ever been used for this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,iv,v)c(iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Yahr, R. (Lichen Specialist Group)
Reviewer(s): Wolseley, P.A., Smith, C. & Scheidegger, C. (Lichen Red List Authority)
Cladonia perforata occurs in three widely disjunct regions of Florida (North Gulf Coast, Lake Wales Ridge and Atlantic Coast Ridge) over a total extent of approximately 3,400 km². Each region consists of several to many severely fragmented occupied habitat patches (subpopulations), each typically on the order of one km² or less. The total number of such subpopulations is only just over 30. Reproduction is limited to poorly-dispersing vegetative fragments that have few opportunities to colonize these disjunct habitat patches. Of the approximately 32 known natural locations (two locations are reintroduced), only 22 are protected. Along both the Lake Wales Ridge and the Atlantic Coast Ridge, unprotected subpopulations lie on high-value real estate, making their long-term persistence unlikely without protection. Even protected subpopulations are occasionally subject to fires and hurricanes, periodic natural disturbances which influence both long-term habitat maintenance and short term subpopulation persistence. A hurricane in 1996 severely impacted the North Gulf Coast region, extirpating two of the three subpopulations and reducing the third subpopulation by more than 70%. Fires are important for opening shrub and tree canopies while they threaten subpopulations in the short term. Low-fuel patches that don’t carry fire are critical refugia for lichens and must be maintained for subpopulations to persist. C. perforata subpopulations are largest in intermediate times between fires, where populations have rebounded after disturbance, but where canopies remain open.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Three major regions of occurrence exist. 1) North Gulf Coast, including a single natural subpopuation (the largest known subpopulation "East Pass", 0.5-1 km²), and one remnant thallus after Hurricane Opal destroyed two subpopulations, "Pole 28" and "A2". In addition, two reintroduced populations (at Pole 28 and A2) were established in 2000. 2) Lake Wales Ridge. This region contains the bulk (22 of 32) of the known subpopulations, scattered across single endemic-rich ridge system. Many subpopulations are severely fragmented and dispersal among them very unlikely. The total area of occupancy in this ca. 2,700 km² area is probably on the order less than 5 km² in disjunct patches. Two locations are important for the amount of protected habitat, active fire-management programs and presence of several occupied (with large areas occupied) and unoccupied habitat patches: Archbold Biological Station with 7 subpopulations, Ridge State Forest with 3, and Lake Apthorpe Preserve with 2. Several privately-held populations are of high habitat quality and large area of occupancy. 3) The Atlantic Coast Ridge has two important locations, but overall low extent of occurrence (ca. 720 km²) and area of occupancy. Jonathan Dickinson State Park protects several subpopulations (including one large one at County Line Rd.), and the Bureau of Land Management protects two subpopulations at Jupiter Lighthouse. Several other scattered sites are privately held, small in area occupied and unlikely to persist under dense tree canopies or without being extirpated for coastal development projects.

Population size - in the traditional sense - for Cladonia perforata is difficult to estimate. It consists of strictly asexual, branching structures which reproduce via vegetative fragmentation. Genetic studies have so far supported an asexual life history (pers. obs.). Effective population sizes are typically one or two genetic individuals per subpopulation. Therefore density and area occupied are probably better measures of abundance for this species than count data. Most subpopulations probably contain less than 0.1 km² coverage of lichen, with a few containing only a few square meters. The degree of fragmentation is naturally high, since appropriate habitat (open Florida scrub) is naturally patchy and disjunct. Most locations are separated by many kilometers of intervening unsuitable habitats and even locations supporting several subpopulations in close proximity still have what are probably very effective barriers to dispersal among them.
Countries occurrence:
United States (Florida)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Cladonia perforata occurs primarily in open Florida rosemary scrub, with large gaps between shrubs and plenty of bare sand and other terrestrial lichens. These scrub habitats are fossil inland dunes or stable coastal dunes. It occupies the highest topographic positions throughout most of this range. In the North Gulf Coast region, it can occur downslope into seasonal depressional wetlands with dense herbaceous cover, but saltwater overwash will kill it. C. perforata grows slowly and branches once a year. Fragmentation (vegetative reproduction) can happen via trampling or natural breakage after decades of growth in situ.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to C. perforata are from habitat loss in the Lake Wales Ridge and Atlantic Coast Ridge, from hurricanes in the North Gulf Coast (overwash and windthrow into unsuitable sites), and from improper fire management throughout. A single hurricane or fire can reduce subpopulations by more than 70% or extirpate it entirely. Dispersal from disjunct sites is extremely unlikely.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Cladonia perforata is Federally Listed Endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, making all Federal landowners with C. perforata responsible for its protection and conservation under the Endangered Species Act. The state of Florida additionally has an active conservation and natural heritage program which tracks listed species (C. perforata is state-listed endangered and has a Heritage Ranking of G1N1) and works to conserve them through land acquisition and management. At least two Lake Wales Ridge sites were acquired under a state project for conservation and recreation lands.

Conservation actions also include reintroduction efforts at Eglin Air Force Base, home to the largest subpopulation (East Pass) and the two extirpated sites at Pole 28 and A10. East Pass was used as a source population for these reintroductions and there is ongoing monitoring of hurricane impacts and reintroduced population success. Post-fire recovery is being monitored at several subpopulations on the Lake Wales Ridge. Fire management is a critical part of conservation of this and many other Florida scrub species and is ongoing throughout most protected sites along the Lake Wales Ridge and the Atlantic Coast Ridge.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.3. Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Sand Dunes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.3. Sub-national level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.4. Storms & flooding
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.3. Other ecosystem modifications
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

Bibliography [top]

Abrahamson, W.G. 1984. Post-fire recovery of Florida Lake Wales Ridge vegetation. American Journal of Botany 71: 9-12.

Abrahamson, W.G., Johnson, A.F., Layne, J.N. and Peroni, P.A. 1984. Vegetation of the Archbold Biological Station, Florida: An example of the southern Lake Wales Ridge. Florida Scientist 47: 209-250.

Buckley, A. and Hendrickson, T.O. 1986. An update of the Macrolichens of Archbold Biological Station with emphasis on the status of Cladonia perforata Evans. (Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, FL.

Buckley, A. and Hendrickson, T.O. 1988. The distribution of Cladonia perforata Evans on the southern Lake Wales Ridge in Highlands County, Florida. Bryologist 91: 354-356.

Dobson, A.P., Rodriguez, J.P., Roberts, W.M. and Wilcox, D.S. 1997. Geographic distribution of endangered species in the United States. Science 275: 550-553.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory. 1995. Element occurrence records for Cladonia perforata. (Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.

Givens, K.T., Layne, J.N., Abrahamson, W.G. and White-Schuler, S.C. 1984. Structural changes and successional relationships of five Florida Lake Wales Ridge plant communities. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 111, 8-18.

Hawkes, C.V. and Menges, E.E. 1996. The relationship between open space and fire for species in a xeric Florida shrubland. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 123(2): 81-92.

IUCN. 2003. 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 November 2003.

Johnson, A.F., Horne, H.E. and Kindell, C. April 2000. Status of rare plant and lichen species and natural communities on Eglin Air Force Base, Santa Rosa Island, Florida – 1999/2000. Report for Cooperative Agreement Number OS MORD 95920244 between The Nature Conservancy and the US Air Force.

Menges, E.S. and Kohfeldt, N. 1995. Life history strategies of Florida scrub plants in relation to fire. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 122(4): 282-297

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1989. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; notice of finding on a petition to list: Cladonia perforata (Perforate Reindeer Lichen). Federal Register 54(200): 42813.

Yahr. R. 1997. Recolonization and reintroduction of Cladonia perforata Evans, an endangered lichen at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Final Report to Florida’s Division of Forestry.

Yahr, R. 1998. Species account for Cladonia perforata. In: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Multi-species recovery plan for the threatened and endangered species of South Florida, Volume 1 of 2, The Species, pp. 6-99 – 6-107. Technical Agency Draft, Vero Beach, Florida.

Yahr, R. 2000. Ecology and post-fire recovery of Cladonia perforata, an endangered Florida-scrub lichen. Final report to United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Yahr, R. 2000. Ecology and post-fire recovery of Cladonia perforata, an endangered Florida-scrub lichen. Forest, Snow and Landscape Research 75: 339-356.

Yahr, R. 2001. In the wake of Hurricane Opal: Experimental resotration of the endangered lichen Cladonia perforata at Eglin Air Force Base. Final report to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. May 2001. 52 pp and 4 appendices.

Yahr, R. and DePriest, P.T. In press. Ecology, life-history, and conservation of the endangered lichen Cladonia perforata. In: Rare Plant Conservation. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Citation: Yahr, R. (Lichen Specialist Group). 2003. Cladonia perforata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T43994A10838980. . Downloaded on 25 April 2018.
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