Here's another story about fungal and insect attacks on trees, with links to lots of others in the sidebar. Why don't these foresters understand that healthy trees resist epidemics that are now rampant all over the world?
Could the same principle be true for lichen? In this amusing exchange with the Boston Museum of Science, I can't get them to answer a direct question:
From Wit's End:
|I just saw this exhibit a couple of weeks ago. It's in an interactive section that also has drawers with bits of animal skeletons and stuffed taxidermy. There is an entire , and the preserved lichen is used as a puzzle for children to date the foundation of the schoolhouse by measuring the size of the lichen. I think its on the second floor overlooking the dinosaurs.|
My specific question is what was the resource used to state in the laminated notebook that the lichen grows at a steady rate of 1 mm per year.
The other question I have is what is the source of the statement that lichens serve the purpose in nature of breaking down wood.
This is quite important as every forester I've ever asked has told me they are harmless to trees. I don't see how they can simultaneously break down wood and be harmless to trees so I would like to find evidence that they are breaking down wood.
If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this blog post you will see pictures from your lichen exhibit. http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2010/03/that-was-then-and-this-is-now.html
Thank you so much for your trouble,
Wit's End wrote:
Dear Magdalena,I look forward to your sources for the exhibit!Can you ask your colleague to check the attached photos of trees and determine whether they must therefore constitute dead and/or dying wood based on the covering of lichen?Thank you,Gail
My colleague does not consider herself an expert on lichen, but she wanted to direct you to a few resources
that may be more helpful: The Arnold Arboretum (http://arboretum.harvard.edu/) would be a good place to try
to ID them, also the Harvard University Herbarium in Cambridge (http://www.huh.harvard.edu/) and the
Agricultural Experiment Station, which is now headquartered in Amherst
If she can't remove actual samples to bring along to show them without injuring the bark of the tree
(and it looks like she has 2-3 different kinds at least from what I can see in the photos) she'll want to
take some good close-up photos to bring. Also, knowing the types of trees they're growing on might help, too.
Attached here is an online key for identifying basic lichen types....she might want to give the ID a try herself!
I hope this helps you with your identification question.Best, Maggie Rabidou