• 1Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Fissurina alligatorensis Lendemer & R.C. Harris

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Scientific name
Fissurina alligatorensis
Lendemer & R.C. Harris
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Proposed by
James Lendemer
James Lendemer
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Fissurina alligatorensis (common name: alligator lip lichen) is endemic to the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain of eastern North America where it occurs in low-lying swamp forests that are threatened by sea-level rise and other forces. The core range of the species lies within the Dare Regional Biodiversity Hotspot and is projected to be inundated by sea-level rise by 2100.

Geographic range

The species is endemic to low-lying swamp forests of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain in eastern North America, from North Carolina south to northern Florida

Population and Trends

Demographic studies are needed to assess and monitor populations sizes. Our current knowledge of the species suggests that its populations are stable.

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology

The species occurs on soft-barked hardwood tree species in humid, low-lying swamp forests.

Temperate Forest


In addition to intense pressure from development and other forces (industry, urbanization), much of the remaining habitat in the region where this species occurs is imperiled by sea-level rise. This includes the core range of the species in the Dare Regional Biodiversity Hotspot as well as additional low-lying sites outside of this area. Additional threats include pollution, road expansion and maintenance, logging and other threats that would further degrade the remaining high quality natural habitats.

Residential & commercial developmentHousing & urban areasCommercial & industrial areasTourism & recreation areasTransportation & service corridorsRoads & railroadsUtility & service linesLogging & wood harvestingNatural system modificationsPollutionDomestic & urban waste waterIndustrial & military effluentsAgricultural & forestry effluentsAir-borne pollutantsClimate change & severe weatherHabitat shifting & alterationDroughtsTemperature extremesStorms & floodingOther options

Conservation Actions

There are many conservation actions that can be taken including increasing protected areas in size and preventing further habitat degradation, educating and training land managers and local botanists to identify the species so we can monitor its health, federally listing the species as endangered in the United States, and improving air quality regulation, monitoring changes associated with sea-level rise. Policy and legislation considering biodiversity threatened by sea-level rise is also needed.

Land/water protectionSite/area protectionResource & habitat protectionLand/water managementSite/area managementHabitat & natural process restorationSpecies recoveryEducation & awarenessFormal educationTrainingAwareness & communicationsLaw & policyLegislationNational level

Research needed

Further research that will aid in the conservation of this species includes population assessments and monitoring, population genetics studies, and ecological studies that incorporate threats to the species. Additionally, a species recovery plan needs to be written.

ResearchPopulation size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecologyThreatsActionsConservation PlanningSpecies Action/Recovery PlanArea-based Management PlanMonitoringPopulation trendsHabitat trends

Use and Trade


Lendemer, J.C. and R.C. Harris. 2014. Seven new species of Graphidaceae (Lichenized Ascomycetes) from the Coastal Plain of southeastern North America. Phytotaxa.

Lendemer, J.C. and J. Allen. 2014. Lichen Biodiversity under threat from Sea-Level Rise in the Atlantic Coastal Plain. BioScience 64: 923-931.

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted