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.
Assessor/s: Yahr, R.; Reviewer/s: Wolseley, P.A., Smith, C. & Scheidegger, C.
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Buckley, A. & Hendrickson, T.O. (1988) The distribution of Cladonia perforata Evans on the southern Lake Wales Ridge in Highlands County, Florida. The Bryologist91: 354-356.
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1989) Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; notice of finding ona petition to list: Cladonia perforata (Perforate Reindeer Lichen). Federal Register54(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 Research75: 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. & 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.
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