BFS Lichens


The BFS Lichen species list was developed from two surveys, conducted on 17 Janurary 2005 and 26 April 2009, by Kerry Knudsen, mycological researcher at Prague University of Life Sciences and former Curator of Lichens for the University of California Riverside Herbarium, with a couple of subsequent incidental observations. Thirty-seven taxa have been recorded. Three additional genera have been observed, but they could not be identified to species.

Although some lichens are found throughout the BFS, the greatest concentration, especially of lichens on rocks, is found in the relatively undisturbed sage scrub community in the upper part of the ‘Neck’ (designated as Riversidian Alluvial Fan Sage Scrub in the 1996 EIR).

Lichens are very sensitive to atmospheric nitrogen pollution, and not surprisingly, the lichen populations in the Los Angeles basis have been adversely affected by air pollution (see, for instance Fenn et al. 2008). The BFS lichens are no exception, and many of the lichen species found at the BFS are nitrophytes – fast-growing species associated with nitrogen deposition. Nonetheless, a number of soil lichens characteristic of intact sage scrub survived the LA Basin’s worst period of nitrogen pollution at the BFS and are persisting in the ‘Neck’, including one rare species.

A Google map shows areas surveyed (darker shading) and the locations of the voucher specimens — red pins mark the locations of specimens from the 2005 survey, and yellow pins mark the 2009 specimen locations. Click on a pin for more information.

Photos. ‘BFS’ links lead to iNaturalist lichen observations made at the BFS that are included in the Bernard Field Station Biota Project.  If you wish to use any of the photos, please refer to the copyright information on each photo for permissible uses. If you have questions or need higher-resolution images, please contact the photographer. Note that no photos taken at the BFS may be used for commercial purposes without the express permission of the BFS Director.

‘CP’ links will return all photographs of the listed taxon in the CalPhotos, Digital Library Project database. Note that you must check the stipulations with each photograph for permissible uses of the CalPhotos images. ‘Jep’ links will return the treatment and bioregional distribution for a taxon from Jepson eFlora.

Validation. Voucher specimens were deposited in the UCR Lichen Herbarium, which is currently being transferred to the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden (SBBG). Links to specimen records are shown in the list below. If no online herbaria data are available, “photo” indicates that photos of the plant are available via the “BFS” link under “Photos”. If neither voucher specimens nor photos exist, but the identification is from a reliable source, initials indicate the source.

Literature Cited

Fenn, M.E., S. Jovan, F. Yuan, L. Geiser, T. Meixner and B.S. Gimeno. 2008. Empirical and simulated critical loads for nitrogen deposition in California mixed conifer forests. Environmental Pollution 155: 492-511. [article]

NOTE: BFS Photo links are not yet working

Common name Scientific name Photos* Validation* Notes

Dusty Cobblestone Lichen Acarospora americana H. Magn. BFS SBBG-010090L
On granite in the Neck. Formerly listed as Acarospora veronensis A. Massal.
Common Coal Dust Lichen Acarospora privigna (Ach.) Gotth. Schneid. BFS SBBG-010780L
Common on granite boulders and rocks, a member of rocky wash community. Formerly Polysporina simplex.
Soil Paint Lichen Acarospora scleicheri (Ach.) A. Massal. BFS SBBG-010555L
On soil and mosses in the Neck. Rare at the BFS.
Yellow Cobblestone Lichen Acarospora socialis H. Magn. BFS, CP UCR-147996
Yellow crust on rocks in the Neck. Nitrophyte.
(a cobblestone lichen) Acarospora sp. A. Massal. BFS, CP SBBG-010000L
On granite in the Neck. Formerly identified as Acarospora badiofusca.
Tiny Button Lichen Amandinea punctata (Hoffm.) Coppins & Scheid. BFS SBBG-004875L
On Artemisia. Formerly Buellia punctata.
Sunken Disk Lichens Aspicilia sp. BFS, CP Photo Observed on rock in the Neck, but not found fertile.
Parasitic Button Lichen Buellia badia (Fr.) A. Massal. BFS SBBG-004241L
Juvenile parasite on other lichens becoming independent and squamulose, occurring on granite.
(a button lichen) Buellia ryanii Bungartz BFS SBBG-004947L
Small specimen of crust. Type locality: east end of Santa Cruz Island. Known from scattered locations near coast. The Bernard Field Station is the farthest inland site documented so far. Formerly listed as Buellia sp., but has now been identified to species.
(a button lichen) Buellia sequax (Nyl.) Zahlbr. BFS SBBG-004974L
On granite rocks.
Gray-rimmed Firedot Lichen Caloplaca cerina (Ehrh. ex Hedwig) Th. Fr. BFS SBBG-005758L
On Artemisia.
 – Caloplaca crenulatella (Nyl.) Oliv. BFS UCR-204389
Rare on granite rock in shade of shrub on edge of shallow seasonal drainage.
Candleflame Lichen Candelaria concolor (Dickson) Stein BFS, CP UCR-147924
Common yellow lichen on bark throughout station. A good indicator of high nitrogen pollution when dominant in lichen community.
Hidden Goldspeck Lichen Candelariella aurella (Hoffm.) Zahlbr. BFS SBBG-006732L
Yellow endolithic crust with yellow apothecia, growing on concrete footing. Calciphile.
Pebble Ball Licken Circinaria arida Owe-Larsson, A. Nordin & Tibell BFS SBBG-007699L
Rare at the BFS. On granite rock in shade of shrub on edge of shallow seasonal drainage in western CSS. Formerly listed as Aspicilia desertorum.
Hammer’s Cup Lichen Cladonia pulvinella S. Hammer BFS SBBG-090622L
Endemic southern California species and component of soil crusts. Formerly listed as Cladonia hammeri.
Tree Jelly Lichens Collema sp. BFS, CP Photo Growing on soil with moss and liverworts.
Mountain Lichen Dimelaena radiata (Tuck.) Mull Arg. BFS Photo White effigurate crust on rock. Another common coastal species found inland in several locations.
Cowpie Lichen Diploschistes muscorum (Scop.) R. Sant. BFS, CP UCR-147962
Parasitic on Cladonia eventually becoming independent; cosmopolitan member of soil crust communities.
Diplotomma alboatrum (Hoffm.) Flotow BFS SBBG-004069L
With submuriform spores on granite rocks in the Neck. Uncommon. Formerly Buellia alboatra.
Scaly Stippled Lichen Endocarpon pusillum Hedwig BFS, CP UCR-147958
Cosmopolitan lichen in soil crusts common in washes in southern California. It has muriform spores, hymenial algae, and long black rhizines.
Grainy Shadow-crust Lichen Hyperphyscia adglutinata (Flörke) H.Mayrhofer & Poelt NY-1050686
Cosmopolitan lichen in soil crusts common in washes in southern California. It has muriform spores, hymenial algae, and long black rhizines.
Lecania cyrtella (Ach.) Th. Fr. BFS, CP UCR-147917
On bark of dead branch. Nitrophtye and adapted to moderately acid surfaces. Rare at the BFS.
Lecanora munzii K. Knudsen & Lendemer BFS UCR-149698
Common on dead wood. New species discovered at the BFS.
Mealy Rim Lichen Lecanora strobilina (Sprengel) Kieffer BFS UCR-147919
Common on dead wood. Another species usually found closer to the coast. (Formerly listed as Lecanora sp., but now identified as L. strobilinabased on chemistry.)
Working Tile Lichen Lecidea laboriosa Müll. Arg. BFS, CP UCR-147960
Black apothecia with endolithic thallus on granite rocks.
Myriolecis crenulata (Ach.) Śliwa, Zhao Xin & Lumbsch BFS UCR-147998
(As Lecanora crenulata)
On a hard carbonate rock. A calciphile. Several carbonate rocks were scattered among the alluvial deposit. Formerly Lecanora crenulata.
Hagen’s Rim Lichen Myriolecis hagenii (Ach.) Śliwa, Zhao Xin & Lumbsch BFS UCR-147979
(As Lecanora hagenii)
On dead wood of Cylindropuntia californica. Formerly Lecanora hagenii. Originally listed as Lecanora albellula Nyl., but determined to be L. hagenii  based on chemistry.
Hooded Rosette Lichen Physcia adscendens (Fr.) H. Olivier. BFS, CP UCR-147920
Common on bark. Nitrophyte.
Waxy Firedot Lichen Polycauliona bolacina (Tuck.) Arup, Frödén & Søchting BFS Photo Orange crust on granite. Rare. A common coastal species; this represents its most inland location. Formerly Caloplaca bolacina.
Polycauliona tenax (L. Lindblom) Frödén, Arup, & Søchting BFS UCR-204398
On Artemisia. Formerly Xanthoria tenax. Originally listed as Xanthoria sp.; subsequently identified to species.
Stonewall Rim Lichen Protoparmeliopsis muralis (Schreb.) M. Choisy BFS UCR-147980
(as Lecanora muralis)
Most common lichen on rock in Bernard Field Station. Formerly Lecanora muralis.
Psora californica Timdal BFS UCR-147949
Soil lichen endemic to western North America occurring in scattered locations with bryophytes in soil crusts in opening of sage shrub.
Rinodina gennarii Bagl. BFS UCR-147983
Nitrophyte on granite rocks.
Sarcogyne similis H. Magn BFS, CP UCR-147951
Black apothecia common on granite and member of wash communities above high water levels.
_ Stigmidium Trevis. UCR-204941
On Verrucaria onegensis. Ascospores 15 x 7 microns, not constricted, cells even. Not enough perithecia.
_ Strangospora moriformis (Ach.) Stein BFS UCR-204399
On dead branches of Artemisia californica.
Trapelia glebulosa (Sm.) J. R. Laundon BFS UCR-204396
On soil and mosses. Rare at the BFS.
Trapelopsis bisorediata McCune & Camacho BFS UCR-147947
Rare soil lichen found growing with moss in one location. Third site in Southern California; known from eight sites in Idaho and Washington. Dr. Roger Rosentreter, a specialist on soil crusts with BLM, considers T. bisorediata an indicator of undisturbed sage scrub communities (per comm.)
Verrucaria calkinsiana Servit BFS UCR-204394
On granite.
Verrucaria onegensis Vain. BFS UCR-204388
On granite.
Tight Rock-Shield Xanthoparmelia lineola (E.C. Berry) Hale BFS UCR-147953
Foliose lichen on granite. Xanthoparmelia are rare at the BFS.


Links to Photos and Descriptions:
BFS = Robert J. Bernard Biological Field Station
CP = CalPhotos, Digital Library Project, UC Berkeley. Clicking the CalPhotos link for a listing will return a display of all photos for that taxon. If you want to use any of these photos, be sure to check the guidelines for Using the Photos in CalPhotos
SBBG = Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Herbarium
UCR = University of California Riverside Herbarium