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

Bacidia gullahgeechee Lendemer

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Scientific name
Bacidia gullahgeechee
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Proposed by
Rebecca Yahr
James Lendemer, Mwihaki John Karichu
Comments etc.
Rebecca Yahr

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Bacidia gullahgeechee is a crustose lichen that resembles B. lutescens but possesses a granular leprose thallus, has a different chemistry and is much more restricted ecologically. The species epithet is a tribute to the Gullah Geechee people in the coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida in the United States. The naming honors the cultural heritage and geographical connection to the habitats where this lichen species is found, highlighting the importance of local communities and their environments in scientific discourse and taxonomy.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Geographic range

Bacidia gullahgeechee is found almost entirely in the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Basin (commonly referred to as the “ACE Basin”) in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain of south-eastern North America. It is also known from two occurrences in northern Florida, also located in the Coastal Plain of south-eastern North America.

Population and Trends

Extensive fieldwork and inventories for lichens across various regions of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, as well as the broader Coastal Plain, including Florida, have failed to locate the species. Therefore, the known distribution likely accurately mirrors its true distribution in nature. Given its narrow habitat range and few recorded occurrences, it is probable that the species is endangered.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Bacidia gullahgeechee grows abundantly on both the trunks and woody petioles of Sabal palmetto, commonly known as palmetto or Sabala palm.  It is restricted to only this substrate and extensive studies have been carried out that would have detected it on other locally co-occurring substrates. Also, in the ACE Basin, it is restricted to hyper coastal maritime forests (unique ecosystems, globally imperiled), and in Florida from swamp forests.

Temperate Forest


The primary threats to Bacidia gullahgeechee lichen include habitat loss and degradation due to urbanization, agriculture, and habitat fragmentation. Climate change exacerbates these threats by altering the species’ habitat suitability and increasing the frequency of extreme weather events such as sea-level rise (Lendemer, 2016). Additionally, air pollution and invasive species pose significant risks to the lichen’s survival and persistence in its limited-range habitats.

Housing & urban areasAgro-industry farmingUnspecified speciesType Unknown/Unrecorded

Conservation Actions

Conservation actions for Bacidia gullahgeechee lichen should focus on habitat protection, restoration, and management, targeting its narrow range of habitats. Implementing legal protections and conservation agreements, along with raising public awareness, are essential. Collaborative efforts among stakeholders, including researchers, land managers, and local communities, are vital for the effective conservation of this potentially endangered species.

Site/area protectionSite/area managementHabitat & natural process restoration

Research needed

Comprehensive research for Bacidia gullahgeechee lichen should prioritize extensive fieldwork and inventories across the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain and the broader Coastal Plain, including Florida, to verify its distribution. Given its limited known occurrences and habitat specificity, population assessments are needed to understand its conservation status. Additionally, detailed habitat analyses, genetic studies, and threat assessments are essential to inform effective conservation strategies. By addressing these research priorities, we can better understand and protect this potentially endangered species and its habitat.

Population size, distribution & trendsPopulation trendsHabitat trends

Use and Trade

Apart from being collected for scientific research, there are no other known utilizations.



Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted