Enter the exciting world of lichens, where Freddy the Fungus and Yusef the Yeast meet Alice the Algae! These crazy creatures are not plants or animals – they’re somewhere in between! Once you’re introduced to the tiny, intricate world of lichens, you’ll start noticing them everywhere: on rocks, trees, logs, old tires, roofs, fence posts.

A bioindicator is a species that reacts so strongly to a pollutant or a change in their environment that they can be used to determine the effects of that pollutant. Biomonitoring is when you check the health of the indicator species over time to see a longer term effect from exposure. We monitor our lichens to directly measure the results of an excess of sulfur dioxide in the air. 

Lichens can be classified into three morphological types: crustose (crust-like, can’t be separated from the substrate it grows on), fruticose (shrubby, hairy, stick-like or hanging) and foliose (leaf-like, almost looks like corn flakes).


Lichen Video

handsonthelandHands on the Land is a national network of field classrooms and agency resources to connect students, teachers, families, and volunteers with public lands and waterways. Hands on the Land brings classroom learning to life in America’s largest classroom!