Common Name: Lamb’s navel lichen (a.k.a. windward rocktripe)
Scientific Name: Umbilicaria lambii Imshaug
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Umbilicariales
Family: Umbilicariaceae
Technical Description: Thallus stratified, crustose/squamulose, dark brown
to black, to 3 mm thick, closely and broadly attached to substrate, upper
surface divided into numerous polygonal plates; isidia and soredia lacking;
green algal photobiont. Apothecia common. Spores not described.
Chemistry: of little diagnostic value in the genus. Distinctive features: The
crustose/squamulose growth form is unusual in a genus characterized by
foliose, umbilicate thalli. Few species of other lichen genera exhibit the
combination of traits that include a very dark upper surface composed of
irregular polygonal plates, absence of perithecia, a geen algal photosymbiont,
and a typical habitat of rock on exposed higher elevation (often subalpinealpine) ridges. Similar species: The growth form of some Xanthoparmelia
species can superficially resemble that of Umbilicaria lambii, but the thalli of
these species are typically yellowish green to pale green.
Life History: Details for Umbilicaria lambii are not documented. Given the
absence of soredia and isidia within the species, it is reasonable to assume
asexual reproduction by fragmentation of thalli plays some role in maintenance
and spread of populations. Establishment of new thalli by sexual means is
poorly understood in lichens, in general.
Range, Distribution, and Abundance: Known from British Columbia, Alberta,
western Montana, the Washington Cascades and Del North County, California.
The Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria lists two records for Washington:
Lewis County, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District,
Butter Creek Research Natural Area (Riley, 7/1998); Skamania County, south
slope of Mt. St. Helens on loop trail (McCune, 9/1977). It is reasonable to
suspect presence of Umbilicaria lambii in rocky, exposed habitats at subalpine
and alpine habitats on all Cascadian national forests in Oregon and
Habitat Associations: Typically found on rock on exposed, higher elevation
ridges. The site in Del Norte County, California, is on a wind and fog swept
ridge at about 1700 m (5580 ft.) elevation, within 50 km (31 mi.) of the coast.
The site in Lewis County, Washington is on rock at elevation of 5140 ft. on
subalpine to alpine ridge with Abies lasiocarpa, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis
and Tsuga mertensiana on lower slopes of ridge. The Skamania County,
Washington site is at elevation of 4640 ft. on a rocky promontory on subalpine
boulder slope with scattered Abies lasiocarpa.
Threats: Threats from local management actions such as prescribed fire, fire
suppression, or livestock grazing would seem to be low at subalpine and alpine
elevations. New road or trail construction could eliminate all or portions of
small populations that were not detected prior to construction.
Conservation Considerations: Consider efforts to relocate the known sites
and conduct local surveys to better understand extent of local populations.
Consider periodic monitoring visits to the re-located known sites. Consider
surveys in appropriate habitats at subalpine and alpine elevations in the
Oregon and Washington Cascades. Consider conducting pre-project surveys
for any new trail or road construction at subalpine or alpine elevations on
federal lands in the Oregon and Washington Cascades.
Conservation rankings: G2G4; WANHP S1, proposed endangered; not listed
Preparer: Rick Dewey
Date Completed: 6/18/2015
Edited by: Rob Huff
Date Completed: 8/5/2015
Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria at www.pnwherbaria.org, visited
Goward, Trevor, Bruce McCune and Del Meidinger. 1994. The Lichens of
British Columbia, Illustrated Keys, Part 1 – Foliose and Squamulose Species.
Ministry of Forests Research Program.
McCune, Bruce and Linda Geiser. 1997. Macrolichens of the Pacific
Northwest. Oregon State University Press in co-publication with the U.S.D.A.
Forest Service.
Oregon Biodiversity Information Center. 2013. Rare, Threatened and
Endangered Species of Oregon. Institute for Natural Resources, Portland State
University, Portland, Oregon.
Peterson, Eric. 2003. Clarification of three Umbilicaria species new to
California. Bulletin of the California Lichen Society 10(1), 2003.
Washington State Department of Natural Resources. 2014. Washington
Natural Heritage Program Proposed List of Rare Lichens at
Accessed 6/9/2015.
Ways of Enlichenment Photo Gallery @ www.waysofenlichenment.net/lichens
Umbilicaria lambii Imshaug. Photographed by Jason Hollinger, British
Columbia, Wells Gray, Raft Mountain, 8/20/2009, on alpine outcrop (det. by T.
Goward). Photo accessed at http://www.waysofenlichenment.net