Boreal felt lichen

Terra Nova National Park

Scientific Name: Erioderma pedicellatum

Conservation Status: Species of special concern



A lichen is a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and an algae occurring on a suitable host. The fungus provides water and nutrients from the host and protects the algae component. The algae are able to photosynthesize and to provide carbohydrates for the fungus.

The Boreal Felt Lichen is a leafy lichen that lives mainly on the trunks of balsam fir trees. It is dark green when wet and greyish when dry. It has upturned edges and a fuzzy white underside. It often has small red bumps (apothecia) on the upper side. These can also appear purplish-black in colour.


The greatest threat to the Boreal Felt Lichen on the Island of Newfoundland is likely habitat loss. This lichen grows mainly on the trunks of balsam fir trees. Therefore, moose browsing and forest harvesting can have a significant impact on the Boreal Felt Lichen as it reduces the availability of host trees. Even the removal of neighbouring trees results in changes in micro-habitat (such as moisture levels) which can be detrimental to lichen. Pollution is also a threat to this sensitive species.


Eight lichen thalli (individual lichen specimens) were successfully located in Terra Nova National Park in October, 2010. During additional surveys in winter 2019, more specimens were found and best practices were established to provide further protection for lichens in the park. 

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