Northwest Lichenologists

What Everyone Should Know About Lichens

08 Feb 2023 7:00 PM | Katherine Glew

Presemtation at the Snohomish County Mycological Society in Everett.

The association of a fungus with a green alga and/or cyanobacteria defines lichens.  They are a vital yet overlooked part of our forest ecosystems, rangelands and rural environments. Lichens can tell us much about the air quality of our local surroundings. The US Forest Service has used lichens to monitor forest health and pollution. Lichens, along with bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) and algae, are currently being studied for their contribution to soil conditioning and stability in rangeland areas. Lichens, as symbiotic organisms, play a major role in nitrogen and carbon fixation as well as mineral cycling.  The ecological study of lichens is becoming more essential in our understanding of how to manage terrestrial ecosystems. 

Lichens produce chemicals that were used for centuries as medicines, dyes, and perfumes.


Common lichens will be presented and discussed to facilitate our understanding of what they can tell us about the health of our environment and how they are used as indicators of clean air. You will also view some of our local species found around Seattle, Everett and the Puget Sound.

Winter is a great time for lichen hunting.

Snohomish County Mycological Society, meeting

Everett Firefighter's Hall

2411 Hewitt Ave

Everett, WA

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