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Extinction looms for Leptogium cochleatum

Leptogium cochleatum faces extinction in Ireland. Photograph Paul Whelan, 2009.

Leptogium cochleatum is a rare Irish lichen [profile]  found on the bark of mature hazel and ash trees. Since the year 2000 it has only been recorded at one site in Co. Galway, two sites in Co. Clare and one site in Co. Kerry. Its decline is due directly to habitat destruction and the non-replacement of mature trees. Lichens need habitat continuity due principally to their slow metabolism and lengthy life cycle. This vulnerable beautiful wavy gelatinous foliose lichen empasises the need for an Irish Lichen Red Data book. [click photo].