The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
The conservation of Gymnoderma lineare is fully sponsored.
Michael Kunz contributed to this Plant Profile.
The rock gnome lichen is endemic to high elevations in the southern Appalachians and is the only North American member of the genus Gymnoderma. Gymnoderma lineare is found growing on rock faces in dense colonies usually less than one meter square in size. The species is recognized by the straps, or squamules, that protrude perpendicular to the rock face. The squamules are thin, blue-grey on top, white below and fade to black at the base. Black fruiting bodies may be found from July to September. However, the genetic identity of each colony is unknown and each may represent a single clone (Weakley, 1988). According to Hale (1979), G. lineare is one of the most unusual, endemic lichens in North America.
Distribution & Occurrence
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Gymnoderma lineare is found growing on vertical rock faces mostly above 5,000 ft. in high humidity conditions: either at on high elevation cliffs and boulder filled drainages or in deep humid gorges. This lichen appears intolerant of high intensity solar radiation so prefers more open northern exposures or shaded western and southern exposures. Much of the is either mixed hardwoods at lower elevations and red spruce (Picea rubens)/Fraser fir (Abies fraserii) at high elevations.
|Approximately 35 known populations extant (NatureServe, 2008; US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001), 26 in NC, 1 in SC, 1 in GA, and 7 in Tn (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001).|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Trampling by climber and hikers.
Limiting trampling on federal lands.
Searching for additional populations.
Very little in know about this species, so specific needs are difficult to determine.
Hale, M. 1979. How to know the lichens, second edition.. Dubuque, IA. William C. Brown Company. 231p.