Publication Date

Spring 2005


The 1997 National Park Service checklist of lichen species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) included only two Rimelia species (R. reticulata and R. subisidiosa), two Canoparmelia species (C caroliniana and C crozalsiana) and one Canomaculina species (as Rimeliella subtinctorium). Previous field and laboratory work by Jonathan Dey, often with Illinois Wesleyan University undergraduate student assistants, pointed to the presence of additional species of Rimelia in the GSMNP. Thus, we examined all specimens of Rimelia, Canoparmelia and Canomaculina previously collected in the GSMNP and deposited in the lichen herbarium at Illinois Wesleyan University in order to update the species list for the park for these three genera.

As a result of this study, five species of Rimelia are now known to occur in the GSMNP. R. commensurata and R. simulans are newly reported in the park to go with Rimelia cetrata (noted in the 2005 version of the checklist) and the previously known R. reticulata and R. subisidiosa. Rimelia diffractaica occurs in the Southern Appalachian Mountain regions but has not yet been found in the park. Canoparmelia amabilis is tentatively added to the species checklist for the park bringing the total Canoparmelia species to three-C. amabilis, C. caroliniana and C crozalsiana. Canomaculina subtinctoria remains the only Canomaculina species reported in the park.

Descriptions of the genera, keys to the species in each genus, and species descriptions are presented. Data include morphological characters, secondary product chemistry, local ecology, general distribution, GSMNP distribution map, and a list of specimens examined for each species. Data from IWU herbarium specimens of related species that occur in the southeastern United States are also presented. Some of these species might one day be found in the park.

This study is a part of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) of the GSMNP, a large endeavor where scientists and educators are working collaboratively to determine all the organisms that can be found in the park.



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