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

Cladonia mediterranea P.A. Duvign. & Abbayes

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Scientific name
Cladonia mediterranea
P.A. Duvign. & Abbayes
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Proposed by
Sonia Ravera
Sergio Perez-Ortega
Violeta Atienza, Sonia Ravera
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg, Toby Spribille, André Aptroot

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Primary thallus evanescent. Podetia grey with a yellowish tinge, up to 7.5 cm. Branches isotomous, or subisotomous at the tip of the branches. up to 1.8 mm in diam. Terminal branches not orientated in one direction, f.orming star-like heads. Branching dichotomous, rarely trichotomous. Podetia surface felt-like, compact; algal layer continuous. Axils not perforates or with a tiny hole. Rarely fertile, apothecia brown. PD-, K-, UV+ light blue. Usnic and perlatolic acids.
From Burgaz 6 Ahti (2009)
Synonyms= Cladina mediterranea (P.A. Duvign. & Abbayes) Follmann & Hern. Padr.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This is a generally coastal species. At least in the countries where it is best known (Spain and Italy) it is under pressure from development. It was common in early last century, and it centainly is not common anywhere anymore.

Criterion A:  Although it is known that the species has dissapeared from many part of its extension range in some Mediterranean countries from which information in known (Italy, Spain) and it is recorded as Critically Endangered in the UK. There is no information available for the species for most of its extension range, nor past neither present. Current threats and actual pressure for the populations of this species in most of the countries are unknown so estimation about population size reduction is not possible. This criterion does not apply.
If data available for Spain and especially Italy is taken into account, the species may be evaluated as Vulnerable at the European level considering criteria A2acd, A3acd, A4acd (Ravera et al 2014 & Burgaz & Ahti 2009).
Criterion B: Extent of occurrence (EOO) is larger than 20.000 km2 and are of occupancy in larger than 2000 km2. This criterion does not apply.
Criterion C: No information is available about the total number of individuals of this species. Thus, subcriteria C1 and C2 are not applicable.
Criterion D: The total number of individuals is unknown and the area of occupancy (AOO) is likely larger than 20 km2. smaller than 20 km2. This criterion does not apply. 
Criterion E: No quantitative analyses have been carried out.

The Global assessment is difficult because the trend in N. Africa and is unknown, so the species is evaluated as Data Defficient.

The assessment made for Europe: at least VU according to A2acd, A3acd, A4acd (Ravera et al 2014 & Burgaz & Ahti 2009).

Geographic range

Although it occurs across the Mediterranean Basin (and England), locations are scattered and it has apparently dissapeared from many areas.

Population and Trends

The total population size is unknown. In those countries where it has been more carefully studied (England, Italy, Portugal, Spain) it has been stated that populations are small and scattered. Further, most of them are threatened by and threatens derived from anthropogenic pressure from coastal land management (building).

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

It grows terricolous, scattered in humid, mostly coastal Mediterranean areas. It can reach up to 500 m in altitude. It prefers acidic to subneutral soils. In the Iberian Peninsula it grow assocaited to coastal Quercus suber and Pinus halepensis forests.

Temperate Forest


Major threats come from the construction of new buildings along the Mediterranean coasts for tourism and recreational purposes during the last 60 years. In Italy (Ravera et al. 2014) it has been documented the reduction of the Area of Occupancy and Extent of Occurrence

Housing & urban areasTourism & recreation areasIncrease in fire frequency/intensity

Conservation Actions

To increase the number of protected areas containing populations of the species. Re-introduction of the species in areas where it had been previously recorded

Species managementSpecies re-introduction

Research needed

It is neccesary to evaluate the current status of Northern AFrican populations and assess wheather the threats known for European populations are extensible to those area.

Population size, distribution & trendsArea-based Management Plan

Use and Trade


Burgaz & Ahti (2009) Flora Liquenológica Ibérica. Vol 4. Cladoniaceae. Sociedad Española de Liquenología, SEL. Madrid. 111 pp + dibujos y mapas de distribución.
Laguna, E., Deltoro, V., Fos, S., Pérez-Rovira, P., Ballester, G., Olivares, A., Serra, L.L. & Pérez Botella, J., 2003. Hábitats prioritarios de la Comunidad Valenciana: valores faunísticos y botánicos. Generalitat Valenciana, Conselleria de Territori i Habitatge.
Ravera, S., Isocrono, D., Nascimbene, J., Giordani, P., Benesperi, R., Tretiach, M., & Montagnani, C. (2015). Assessment of the conservation status of the mat-forming lichens Cladonia subgenus Cladina in Italy. Plant Biosystems ISSN: 1126-3504, doi: 10.1080/11263504.2014.1000422
Ait Hammou et al. (2014) Mise a jour de l’inventaire des lichens d’Algérie. Revue Ecologie-Environnement 10 http://fsnv.univ-tiaret.dz/Revue Ecologie-Environnement10/13 Article Ait Ham.pdf

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted