An Annotated Checklist of Lichens of the Opal Creek Wilderness and Adjacent Areas: a Pre-Fire Baseline

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John Villella, Lalita Calabria, Bruce McCune, Jesse E. D. Miller, Stephen Sharrett


In 2020 the Beachie Creek Fire burned a large area of forest in the northern Oregon Cascade Range including public and private land and much of the Opal Creek Wilderness. We compiled a baseline data set from various sources of the lichens known to occur before the fire within this area. These data are presented as an annotated species checklist documenting two hundred and eighty species. Euopsis pulvinata, Lepraria elobata, Miriquidica instrata, Plectocarpon nephromeum, Porpidia flavicunda, and Rhizocarpon distinctum are reported as new for Oregon based on an online search of herbarium records. In the proximity of the wilderness area where populations of listed rare species are known, their occurrences are mapped against a fire intensity gradient. Drone-generated images of selected locations before and after the fire are included to help gauge the fire effects on lichen communities. Increased fire activity in the area is potentially causing landscape-level changes in biodiversity, and the data we present represent a historical baseline for future analysis of the effects of the Beachie Creek fire on lichen diversity.



Life Sciences


fire intensity, Willamette National Forest, megafire, disturbance, climate change, species inventory


Published: 2022-12-15 22:35

Last Updated: 2022-12-16 06:35


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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