Here we present a preliminary checklist of the lichens of Gorges State Park, North Carolina, and describe Gyalectidium appendiculatum, a foliicolous lichen species new to science. Gorges State Park and the surrounding region encompasses a series of north- to south-facing drainages characterized by steep slopes and abrupt elevational changes, high levels of rainfall, and year-round moderate temperatures. The gorges harbor several rare and endemic taxa. This survey represents the first attempt to describe the lichen diversity of this region. We collected 441 specimens that yielded a total of 218 species. Using Jaccard indices, we calculated species composition similarities between Gorges State Park and three additional sites in North Carolina (two other mountain checklists and one coastal plain). Comparisons among the three mountain sites resulted in the highest similarity indices. However, Gorges State Park had more affinities to the coastal plain flora than did either of the other two mountain sites. These data contribute new information about eastern North American lichens as well as add to the growing documentation of the extraordinary and unique biological composition of the western North Carolina gorges. Future research on the lichen flora of Gorges State Park will undoubtedly lead to new discoveries.
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Vol. 111 • No. 1