DNA barcoding aids in generating a preliminary checklist of the lichens and allied fungi of Calvert Island, British Columbia: Results from the 2018 Hakai Terrestrial BioBlitz

McMullin R.T., Simon A.D.F., Brodo I.M., Wickham S.B., Bell-Doyon P., Kuzmina M. & Starzomski B.M.
Biodiversity Data Journal
12: e120292 [77 p.]
Background: Bioblitzes are a tool for the rapid appraisal of biodiversity and are particularly useful in remote and understudied regions and for understudied taxa. Lichens are an example of an often overlooked group, despite being widespread in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems and having many important ecological functions. New information: We report the lichens and allied fungi collected during the 2018 terrestrial bioblitz conducted on Calvert Island on the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada. We identified 449 specimens belonging to 189 species in 85 genera, increasing the total number of species known from Calvert Island to 194, and generated Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) sequences for 215 specimens from 121 species. Bryoria furcellata, Chaenothecopsis lecanactidis and C. nigripunctata were collected for the first time in British Columbia. We also found Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis, which is listed as Special Concern on the federal Species at Risk Act, and other rarely reported species in British Columbia including Opegrapha sphaerophoricola, Protomicarea limosa, Raesaenenia huuskonenii and Sarea difformis. We demonstrate that DNA barcoding improves the scope and accuracy of expert-led bioblitzes by facilitating the detection of cryptic species and allowing for consistent identification of chemically and morphologically overlapping taxa. Despite the spatial and temporal limitations of our study, the results highlight the value of intact forest ecosystems on the Central Coast of British Columbia for lichen biodiversity, education and conservation. Keywords: biogeography, Calicioids, Central Coast Regional District, Great Bear Rainforest, ITS, Pacific Northwest.
Wednesday, 28 February 2024 12:32