Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen
Scientific Name: Collema coniophilum
Taxonomy Group: Lichens
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2010
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: D1
COSEWIC Reason for Designation:
This foliose, tree-inhabiting cyanolichen is endemic to Canada where it occupies a narrow range restricted to trees in old-growth forests on calcareous soils in humid, inland British Columbia. The lichen is poorly adapted for dispersal since it has never been found with sexual reproductive structures and its vegetative propagules are not easily dispersed. The lichen has an apparently declining distribution, resulting from ongoing loss of old-growth forest through clear-cut logging. The factors underlying its rarity and narrow endemism are not well understood.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in November 2010.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2017-02-03
Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.
Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen, Collema coniophilum, is a distinctive, moderately sized leafy lichen with several broad, mostly rounded lobes, at most 2-4 (-5) mm wide. The smooth upper surface is dark olive green to blackish brown that becomes weakly and sparsely covered in low “blisters” that eventually expand upwards into low broad ridges. Small, blackish, finger-like protrusions are present on the upper surface, and contrast with the upper surface. The lower surface varies from dark olive green to pale olive beige, and sometimes has tufts of tiny white hairs. [Updated by COSEWIC- Nov. 2010]
Distribution and Population
Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen is currently known to be endemic to Canada. Its core range occupies a small, humid portion of the Rocky Mountain trench, approximately 65 km east of Prince George, though additionally it is known from the Upper Adams River, in the Columbia Mountains, 20 km southeast of Blue River. Biogeoclimatically these regions are located within the wettest, coolest subzones of the Interior Cedar-Hemlock and Sub-boreal Spruce Zone. To date, Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen has been documented at only eight localities worldwide, with a total of 170 thalli. Recent attempts to relocate this species at three of these localities have been unsuccessful, notwithstanding that two of them now enjoy legislated protection through the establishment of provincial parks. The third locality has been lost as a result of recent clearcut logging. At one of the remaining four localities, Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen occurs in rather large numbers, with about 140 thalli observed in 2006. Even here, however, there is evidence of population decline, presumably owing to recent reductions in road traffic, and hence diminished incidences of road dust (see section below). [Updated by COSEWIC- Nov. 2010]
Throughout its range, Crumpled Tarpaper Lichenappears to be restricted to base-rich or base-enriched trees, including Subalpine Fir, Western Hemlock, Engelmann Spruce and to a much lesser extent Black Cottonwood, Trembling Aspen, and Western Red-Cedar. Its establishment at a given locality is greatly enhanced by, and indeed certainly depends on, nutrient enrichment from any of several sources. This species has been documented only from humid old forests older than about 100 years. [Updated by COSEWIC- Nov. 2010]
Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen is a colonist of young twigs. It appears to be an asexual species, reproducing exclusively via coarse granular outgrowths of the upper surface known as isidia. Isidia are too large to be effectively dispersed by wind; and because they have no special mechanism of adhesion, successful long-distance dispersal on the feet of birds is also expected to occur rather rarely. In the event, however, that an isidium does reach a new locality, successful establishment is likely to occur only on nutrient-rich or nutrient-enriched twigs and young branches. Throughout the wettest portions of its geographic range, nutrient-rich twigs and branches are presumably infrequently encountered owing to the leaching effects of heavy precipitation. This greatly reduces this species’ frequency of occurrence. [Updated by COSEWIC- Nov. 2010]
To date Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen has been recorded only from old growth forests; it is not known to inhabit younger forest types. This being the case, there can be little doubt that the loss of old growth forests as a result of clearcut logging is causing a corresponding decline in this species, at least under natural conditions. There is evidence, however, that logging activities may actually be promoting Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen at some sites through the artificial creation of nodes of nutrient enrichment in connection with calcareous road dust. Thus the very act of hauling logs to mill seems to favour the establishment of sizable populations of this species. It is doubtful that Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen could accumulate to such numbers – 140 thalli at one locality – under natural conditions. So long as this dust effect persists, and so long as the old growth stands that support Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen at such stands remain intact, the future of this species would seem secure. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to ensure that old forests will be allowed to intersect indefinitely with calcareous gravel roads. What is more, any land use practice that tends, through the loss of old forests, to confine Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen to a small number of artificially enhanced roadside stands clearly jeopardizes this species, e.g., through increased vulnerability to stand-replacing disturbance such as wildfire, disease, insect outbreak, and blow down. [Updated by COSEWIC- Nov. 2010]
The Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen (Collema coniophilum) in Canada
Status First posting on SAR registry
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
8 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Related Information (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen (2011-12-08)This foliose, tree-inhabiting cyanolichen is endemic to Canada where it occupies a narrow range restricted to trees in old-growth forests on calcareous soils in humid, inland British Columbia. The lichen is poorly adapted for dispersal since it has never been found with sexual reproductive structures and its vegetative propagules are not easily dispersed. The lichen has an apparently declining distribution, resulting from ongoing loss of old-growth forest through clear-cut logging. The factors underlying its rarity and narrow endemism are not well understood.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011-09-09)Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.