Mountain crab-eye (Acroscyphus sphaerophoroides) is a yellowish to light-gray cushion-forming lichen with tufts of erect coral-like branches 15?20 mm long and 2 mm wide. Fruiting bodies are black, approximately 1 mm wide, and sunken in the tips of the fertile branches. Mountain crab-eye attaches itself by basal holdfasts to wood or acidic rock (Goward 1999).
Mountain crab-eye was designated as a Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 2016 due to only eight known occurrences in Canada within a very restricted climatic zone. Occurrences are from the Coastal Western Hemlock and Mountain Hemlock biogeoclimatic zones. The total estimated population size is less than 250 colonies within the Coast Mountains in wetland complexes (sparsely treed peatlands, fens, or bog complexes), subalpine forest, and subalpine parkland. Mountain crab-eye has been found on dead branches, on dead tops of mountain hemlock trees, and on yellow-cedar and Sitka spruce. In two instances in British Columbia, it has been found on rocks. The species is listed as a Special Concern in Canada in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). In British Columbia, mountain crab-eye is ranked S2 (imperiled) by the B.C. Conservation Data Centre. Threats to the species include development pressures (roads, pipelines, hydroelectricity, mining, and forestry) and climate change, which threaten the hydrological regime and microclimatic conditions required by this species at many of the known sites.
B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Costanzo, B.. 2020. Management plan for Mountain Crab-eye (Acroscyphus sphaerophoroides) in British Columbia.. Province of BC, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Management Plan (Species at Risk)
Topic: Species and Ecosystems at Risk
Keywords: Mountain Crab-eye
Scientific Name: Acroscyphus sphaerophoroides
English Name: Mountain crab eye
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