Frosted Glass-whiskers Atlantic population
Scientific Name: Sclerophora peronella
Other/Previous Names: Frosted Glass-whiskers (Nova Scotia population),Frosted Glass-whiskers Lichen (Nova Scotia population),Frosted Glass-whiskers (Nova Scotia population)
Taxonomy Group: Lichens
Range: Nova Scotia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2014
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern
Image of Frosted Glass-whiskers
Frosted Glass-whiskers is a tiny lichen belonging to a group of lichenized fungi characterized by small, stalked apothecia, the organs that house their reproductive structures and resemble beard stubble. Frosted Glass-whiskers can be recognized by its pale pinkish apothecia, which are raised on fine stalks 0.5 to 0.8 mm tall. Frosted Glass-whiskers is also characterized by tiny, smooth spherical spores, the reproductive structures. The thallus, the leaflike main body of the lichen, is embedded in the substrate, where the fungus is associated with a green alga. Frosted Glass-whiskers is an arboreal lichen, meaning it grows exclusively on trees. It is found on the bark and wood of old trees.
Distribution and Population
Frosted Glass-whiskers is considered very rare throughout its known global range, which includes Europe (Scotland, Germany, Moravia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, Austria, Italy, and Estonia), the Caucasus in Russia, the United States (western Oregon), and Canada (British Columbia and Nova Scotia). In Canada, this lichen has been collected at only one locality in British Columbia, in 1991, and at two localities in Nova Scotia, in 1998. In British Columbia, the species was reported at the south end of Kitsumkalum Lake. In Nova Scotia, the lichen was observed on Cape Breton Island, in two forests in Inverness County. The entire area of coverage for Frosted Glass-whiskers in the three known Canadian occurrences is probably no more than 1 m2. Despite repeated surveys, the species has been found only once at each locality, and it is estimated that each record represents a single contiguous thallus bearing several apothecia. It is therefore impossible to determine whether these populations are increasing, stable, or declining. However, the two Nova Scotia populations appear healthy.
Frosted Glass-whiskers grows on old deciduous trees, usually on the exposed heartwood of living trunks and more rarely on bark, in humid and rather shaded situations. This arboreal lichen is often associated with old-growth forests in coastal regions, but it is also found in open forests, in clearings, and on the margins of old deciduous forests. In Canada, the single specimen from British Columbia was collected on the bark at the base of a large black cottonwood in a rather shady cottonwood stand. Both of the collections from Nova Scotia were on exposed heartwood of living red maple trees growing in old-growth hardwood stands. Owing to the sensitivity of its green algal partner to frost, this lichen is likely restricted to maritime areas in Canada.
Frosted Glass-whiskers grows exclusively on the wood and bark of older trees and seems to have a preference for forests with stable humidity and small temperature fluctuations. The thallus of Frosted Glass-whiskers is embedded in the substrate. Despite their limited size, all thalli of Frosted Glass-whiskers observed in Canada appear to be healthy, with apothecia containing mature spores. The spores are distributed by wind, rain, and, to a lesser degree, invertebrates. Before a new lichen can grow, the fungal spore must land and germinate in close proximity to a compatible green alga on appropriate substrate. Like all lichens, Frosted Glass-whiskers is a plant organism composed of a fungus and an alga in a symbiotic relationship. This type of mutually beneficial relationship is essential to the survival of the two organisms. Little information is available on the biology of this species. However, it is known that, Frosted Glass-whiskers, unlike other types of lichens, cannot propagate through small organs containing both the alga and the fungus. If it could, these organs, or propagules, would have only to land on a suitable site in order to propagate the species, since both partners would already be present. The lack of vegetative propagules presents an additional challenge for the survival of the species. Finally, like all lichens, Frosted Glass-whiskers is extremely sensitive to air pollution.
The availability of old-growth forests in coastal regions—the preferred habitat of Frosted Glass-whiskers—is unfortunately declining across Canada and throughout most of the world. Habitat destruction from logging of such forests is the primary threat to this lichen. For example, little intact habitat remains in the Acadian Forest Region, within which the species resides in Nova Scotia. Air pollution remains a threat to this lichen in most of the regions in which it occurs. Pollutants threaten both the tree and the lichen growing on the tree.
Federal ProtectionMore information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
In Nova Scotia, the species is protected under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act, which governs specimen collection and habitat destruction in Crown land wilderness areas.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
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.
11 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (2 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (2 record(s) found.)
- Management Plans (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2005 (2005)2005 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
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