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Evaluating the conservation status of epiphytic lichens of Italy: A red list

Nascimbene, J., Nimis, P. L., Ravera, S.
Plant biosystems 2013 v.147 no.4 pp. 898-904
conservation status, epiphytes, lichens, Italy
Despite the fact that Italy is among the lichenologically best known areas worldwide, a national red list of lichens is still lacking. The aim of this work was to provide a red list of the epiphytic lichens of Italy which could facilitate the inclusion of lichens in national conservation plans. The evaluation of the species against International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria was based on data from multiple sources which represent the best available information on the epiphytic lichens of Italy. The species were assigned to the IUCN categories mainly using criteria D and B. A total of 368 species were evaluated: for 23 species, information is missing from more than 50 years and they were listed as regionally extinct, 64 as critically endangered, 75 as endangered, 74 as vulnerable, 58 as near threatened, 20 as least concern and 54 species as data deficient. Our results indicate that more than one-fourth of the epiphytic lichens of Italy are likely to be threatened, so that further research and effort are needed to include lichens in the main national conservation plans. Our results also highlight the lack of information that still hampers the rigorous evaluation of Italian lichens against IUCN criteria.