Location: Point Lobos State Park, Monterey Co., California, USA
Version: 2
Previous Version 

User who defined this location: Jason Hollinger

North: 36.5255°
West: -121.957°
East: -121.935°
South: 36.5048°
Highest Elevation: 0.0 meters
Lowest Elevation: 0.0 meters


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Lichenological Overview (Default)Edit

General Description:

Photo: Niebla community on conglomerate cliff facing the sea

This is one of the finest lichen hotspots on the central California Coast. It is readily accessible from US Highway 1 less than an hour(?) south of Monterey. It is situated on a complex of rocky promontories jutting into the cold Alaskan current. It is ideally suited for lichens adapted to thrive in the fog belt, including Niebla, Dendrographa, and several odd fruticose forms of typically crustose genera, e.g., Caloplaca coralloides and Lecanora phryganitis. Furthermore, seabirds (and more importantly to the lichenologist, their droppings) are abundant, providing extensive nutrient-enriched substrate along bluffs, seastacks and in the coastal scrub. Lastly, a renowned grove of the rare Monterey Cypress (Cupressa macrocarpa) potentially providing a large and unique habitat for yet more lichens. [I’m thinking of some crustose species I saw in the grove but didn’t collect; I didn’t see them anywhere else, so I’m assuming they must have narrow substrate preference. I would expect at least a few unusual lichens to be present in such a situation. -Jason]

Habitat Description:

There are several major habitat types present.

1. Coastal conifer forest. Dry and relatively open, but close enough to the sea to be significantly enriched by marine aerosols and reliable morning fog. Dominated by Pinus spp. Typical hypermaritime epiphytic lichen flora.

2. Monterrey cypress grove. Situated on a rocky bluff surrounded on three sides by the sea. Very open and exposed to fog and sea spray. Almost entirely dominated by Cupressus macrocarpa. The lichenological highlight is a spectacular community of the otherwise uncommon Dendrographa leucophaea and D. alectoroides (see observation 69289 and observation 13476 for discussion).

3. Coastal scrub / chaparral. The bluffs overlooking the sea are typical bare of trees, covered instead with a dense growth of scrub oak and other species. If you can brave the thicket, this is a particularly excellent place to study Ramalina spp. and Niebla cephalota.

4. Coastal bluffs. Granitic outcrops high above the spray zone. Very dry in terms of rain, but humidity is extremely abundant and reliable. Since chlorolichens (those containing green algae as their photobiont) can photosynthesize in humidity as low as 80%, this provides an ideal habitat that is virtually globally unique (occurring also along the northern Chilean coast and to a lesser extent the Canary Islands). Trails run right along the edge of the bluff in a number of places, giving ready access to a number of spectacular lichen communities. This is the place to study the six? saxicolous species of Niebla.

5. Sea stacks and spray zone. Closer to the sea, especially where sea birds congregate, is a highly enriched habitat on exposed but rarely inundated granitic outcrops. Species of Caloplaca are particularly abundant. There is also at least one excellent population of Dendrographa near the Monterrey Cypress grove.

Interesting Species:

This is a prime location to find and study several interesting lichens characteristic of the central and southern California coast:

Caloplaca coralloides
Dendrographa alectoroides
Dendrographa leucophaea
Lecanora phryganitis
Niebla cephalota
Niebla ceruchoides
Niebla combeoides
Niebla homalea
Niebla laevigata
Niebla polymorpha
Niebla procera
Ramalina farinacea
Ramalina leptocarpha
Ramalina menziesii
Ramalina pollinaria
Ramalina subleptocarpha

Additional macrolichens (from predominantly epiphytic genera) which should be present (extracted from Sonoran Flora)

Candelaria concolor
Candelaria pacifica
Collema furfuraceum
Collema nigrescens
Dendrographa alectoroides
Dendrographa leucophaea
Evernia prunastri
Flavoparmelia caperata
Flavopunctelia flaventior
Heterodermia leucomela
Heterodermia namaquana
Hypogymnia gracilis
Hypogymnia heterophylla
Hypogymnia imshaugii
Hypogymnia occidentalis
Hypogymnia physodes
Hypogymnia tubulosa
Kaernefeltia merrillii
Leptogium californicum
Leptogium lichenoides
Leptogium milligranum
Leptogium pseudofurfuraceum
Leptogium saturninum
Leptogium tenuissimum
Letharia columbiana
Letharia vulpina
Melanelia fuliginosa
Melanelia subargentifera
Nephroma helveticum ssp. helveticum
Nodobryoria abbreviata
Normandina pulchella
Parmelia sulcata
Parmelina quercina
Parmotrema chinense
Parmotrema crinitum
Parmotrema stuppeum
Phaeophyscia hirsuta
Phaeophyscia orbicularis
Physcia adscendens
Physcia aipolia var. aipolia
Physcia biziana
Physcia dimidiata
Physcia stellaris
Physcia tribacia
Physconia americana
Physconia californica
Physconia enteroxantha
Physconia fallax
Physconia isidiigera
Physconia leucoleiptes
Physconia perisidiosa
Platismatia glauca
Pseudocyphellaria anomala
Punctelia borreri
Punctelia perreticulata
Sticta fuliginosa
Teloschistes chrysophthalmus
Teloschistes flavicans
Tuckermannopsis chlorophylla
Tuckermannopsis orbata
Usnea fulvoreagens
Usnea lapponica
Usnea rubicunda
Usnea scabrata
Vulpicida canadensis
Waynea californica
Xanthomendoza fallax
Xanthomendoza oregana
Xanthoria candelaria

Some additional macrolichens: (various sources)

Cladonia chlorophaea
Cladonia hammeri
Cladonia macilenta
Hypocenomyce scalaris
Neofuscelia verruculifera
Peltigera collina
Peltigera membranacea
Peltigera praetextata

Description author: Jason Hollinger (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editor: Chris Parrish


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