Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis (old-growth specklebelly lichen) is found on the west coast of Canada and the USA from Oregon to southeast Alaska. Our study examined old-growth coniferous forests on Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland coast of British Columbia to determine its relative abundance, distribution and habitat preferences. We hypothesized greater frequency of P. rainierensis in this region because of limited prior surveys. We searched 119 sites representing potential habitat within 18 watersheds, recorded detailed habitat observations and collected voucher specimens. We documented 44 new localities (>1km apart) for this species, which was known from only 17 previous localities. Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis occurred across a range of plant associations but was most abundant on nutrient-rich, middle to lower slope positions or microsites. Its occurrence was associated with Callitropsis nootkatensis on many sites. Although P. rainierensis was most abundant on Abies amabilis trunks, it was found on six conifer species.
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Vol. 32 • No. 3