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Lecanora masana Lendemer & R.C. Harris

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Scientific name
Lecanora masana
Lendemer & R.C. Harris
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
Allen, J., Lendemer, J. & McMullin, T.
Yahr, R.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/80702914/80702917


This species is endemic to high elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The narrow distribution, threats to the ecosystem in which it lives, including invasive pests, and climate change all contribute to the current status of Lecanora masana. A decline of at least 30% in the population size of this species is projected to occur within the next 36 years (three generations) due to hotter, drier climates, the invasive woolly adelgid, and air pollution. Therefore, it is assessed as Vulnerable (A3ce).

Geographic range

Lecanora masana is endemic to the southern Appalachian Mountains in the south-eastern United States where it grows at middle to high elevations throughout the region (Tripp and Lendemer 2020).

Population and Trends

The population size of this species is projected to decline 30-40% in the next 36 years (three generations). The highest elevation sites are found in spruce-fir forest, which has been, and continues to be, significantly negatively impacted by the invasive Balsam Woolly Adelgid, which likely constitutes a ~5% decline. The lowest elevation sites are likely to be negatively impacted by hotter, drier climates, likely constituting a ~20-30% decline (Allen and Lendemer 2016). Air pollution is likely an additional threat that continues to negatively impact the population size of this species, constituting and additional ~5% decline.

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

This species is found in multiple different habitats, including spruce-fir forests, northern hardwood forests, and shrub balds. It grows on the bark of a diversity of phorophytes, including Ericaceous shrubs, Picea rubens, Abies fraseri, and Betula spp.


Loss of habitat due to invasive tree pests (Balsam Woolly Adelgid) and climate change are the most important threats to Lecanora masana. Many other high-elevation endemic lichens in the southern Appalachians are threatened by climate change, and Lecanora masana is likely to be negatively impacted to a similar degree (Allen and Lendemer 2016). Air pollution is likely an additional threat that continues to negatively impact the population size of this species.

Conservation Actions

Most of the population occurs on public lands that are protected to various degrees. Many sites are in National Parks and federally designated National Forest wilderness areas, both of which are largely protected from direct anthropogenic impacts. At sites on other public lands where direct impacts may occur (e.g. infrastructure improvement/construction, road improvement/construction, logging) the species would benefit from protections from such threats. As the species is not presently listed at the state or federal level, inclusion in conservation policy would also benefit the species. Finally, as is the case with many lichen species, conservation of this species would be advanced through education efforts to increase public awareness and train resource managers to recognize the species. Monitoring of population trends is needed to detect any acceleration in declines.

Source and Citation

Allen, J., Lendemer, J. & McMullin, T. 2021. Lecanora masana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T80702914A80702917. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-2.RLTS.T80702914A80702917.en .Accessed on 30 September 2023

Country occurrence