San Nicolas Island reference library construction of plants, lichens, bryophytes, macrofungi, and insects

Project Dates

2019 - 2022


The understanding of Channel Islands biological diversity is both incomplete and out of date. DNA barcoding complements traditional taxonomic methods and provides a means to assess animal diets via meta-barcoding. In this project, specimens for all 285 vascular plant species known to occur on the island are being collected, along with common lichens, insects, macrofungi, and bryophytes. The resulting museum vouchers are used for traditional identification, while tissue collections are used to build barcode reference libraries. At the conclusion of the project, barcoding sequences will be submitted to the GenBank database and/or the International Barcode of Life Consortium research alliance.


To improve our understanding of the biological diversity of San Nicolas Island, which will improve our conservation practices

Early Results:
One hundred thirteen macrofungi have been vouchered, including possibly two new species to science — not surprising as this is the first macrofungal survey for this island. Also new to the island so far are four bryophytes, five to six new lichens (and a rediscovery of one presumed extirpated), and 15 new vascular plants.

Team Members

Kristen Lehman, Ph.D.

Matt Guilliams, Ph.D. 

Isabel Rivera

Emily Thomas

Caitlin Hazelquist

Rikke Reese Naesborg, Ph.D. 

Christian Schwarz 

Stephanie Calloway

Casey Richart, Ph.D.

Denise Knapp, Ph.D. 


U.S. Navy (Naval Base Ventura County)

Ben Carter, Ph.D. (San Jose State University)


U.S. Navy (Naval Base Ventura County)

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