Starry Breck Lichen (Buellia asterella) - Species Action Plan

Ref  1/S22 Species Action Plan 22
Plan Author: Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Plan Co-ordinator: Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Final Draft 31 December 1998
Revised Final Draft April 2004

Action Plan Summary

Current Status

National

  •  The lichen is restricted to one site in Suffolk Breckland (probably now extinct).

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Current factors causing loss or decline in Norfolk

  • Where it formerly occurred at Weeting Heath it is thought that a lack of rabbit grazing probably resulted in the loss. Currently this area is now subject to very high rabbit grazing, which may be leading to a too loose substrate for the lichen to colonise.
  • Increased atmospheric nitrogen deposition increasing higher plant vigour.

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Current Action in Norfolk

  • This species is the subject of a study into translocation in Breckland. (Translocation failed – proposed turf stripping at Weeting (NWT involved.) Former sites such as Weeting Heath are now managed by a combination of rabbit and sheep grazing.
  • A survey was undertaken in 2002 and is summarised in English Nature Research Report No 503: Lichen Survey of Selected Breckland SSSIs.
  • A translocation study was undertaken during the 1990s where it was concluded that transplanting is not thought to be a good method of conserving the lichen.
  • Turf stripping to create suitable substrate for lichen spores to colonise is proposed at Weeting Heath in winter 05/06.

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Action Plan Objectives and Targets

National

  • If feasible re-introduce to four formerly occupied sites by 2005.

Norfolk

  • Create suitable conditions for re-colonisation at Weeting Heath in winter 05/06.

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