The liverwort Spruceanthus theobromae (Spruce) Gradst., known from a single extant site and considered a critically endangered species, was detected on trunk bases of Theobroma cacao in 12 cacao plantations with low management intensity in western Ecuador. Its host specificity and exclusive occurrence in plantations are unique ecological features of the species. According to the IUCN criteria, Spruceanthus theobromae qualifies as a near threatened species (LR/nt) and should be removed from the World Red List of Bryophytes. The continued existence of cacao plantations with low management intensity in western Ecuador is of great importance to the conservation of local bryophyte diversity and is crucial to the survival of Spruceanthus theobromae.
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Vol. 104 • No. 4