Metal-enriched habitats often harbor physiologically distinct biotas able to tolerate and accumulate toxic metals. Plants and lichens that accumulate metals have served as effective indicators of ecosystem pollution. Whereas the diversity of metal-tolerant lichens has been well documented globally, the literature of metal-tolerant lichen communities for eastern North America is limited. We examined the lichen flora of the Callahan Mine, a Cu-, Pb-, and Zn-enriched superfund site in Brooksville, Hancock County, Maine, U.S.A. Through collections along transects across metal-contaminated areas of the mine, we documented 76 species of lichens and related fungi. Fifty species were saxicolous, 26 were terricolous. Forty-three species were macrolichens, 31 were microlichens. Although no globally rare or declining species were encountered at the mine, two regionally rare or declining species, Stereocaulon tomentosum and Leptogium imbricatum, were found. The species found at the Callahan Mine were mostly ecological generalists frequenting disturbed habitats. Two extensively studied Cu-tolerant lichens, Acarospora smaragdula and Lecanora polytropa, and other known Cd-, Cu-, Pb-, and Zn-tolerant taxa, were found at the site.



Number of Pages


Publisher statement

NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Nishanta Rajakaruna was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.

Included in

Biology Commons



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bio_fac/519