Blog: January 2020.
There are beautiful trees on the campsite. All kinds of; beech, birch, oak, pine, cherry, etc. The trunks and branches of many of these trees are covered with beautiful lichen. It may sound silly, this is a good sign. Lichens are THE indicators of clean air.
Lichens are special!
They are actually a kind of double creatures and they are (although the name suggests) not a moss type. A lichen is a cohabitation relationship, a symbiosis between a fungus and an alga, these together form a strong formula.
It is not a parasite, a lichen does not live fróm a tree, but ón the tree. The special feature of lichen is that it is an indication of the air quality. Lichens dislike air pollution. So to grow lichen, a very good balance is needed in the air.
If you are in a place with a lot of lichen, this means that the air is very pure.
There are a huge number of types of lichen and moss. There are 624 species in the Netherlands alone, can be read on the internet.
Special species provide more information. Beard mosses and shrub-shaped lichens are the most sensitive to air pollution, crust-shaped lichens appear to be less sensitive. For example, Groene Schotelkorst is an indication of a lot of sulfur dioxide in the air. Yellow yolk mosses are very fond of nitrogen and Eikemos can cope well with acid environments. Lichens are therefore not an exact measuring instrument for air quality, but they do give an indication.
If you don’t find lichens on all trees in the area, the air is very dirty. If you only find crustaceans, the air is still dirty. Gray leaf-shaped and certainly shrub-shaped species on trees indicate that the air is relatively little contaminated.
If the trees are completely covered with bushes of lichen, the air is really super clean!
Look, that makes us happy.
It appears that lichens also have a healing effect. Witchcraft or medicine? Some types of remedy sore throats and bowel problems, others are used in perfumes.
Now that I have studied the lichen extra for this blog, it appears to be more interesting than I thought. Who would have thought that lichens grow very slowly (sometimes no more than 0.1 mm per year), you wouldn’t think that when you see the quantities here. They are very strong, able to live under the most unthinkable situations. They can manage with little nutrients and often get them out of the rain and dust in the air. In the event of dehydration, they can also remain in a resting phase for a long time, sometimes for years, after adding water they become active again.
I have since discovered that you can graduate on the subject of lichen. Incredibly, there is so much to learn and find in this area.
On the photo of this tree (taken Jan. 2020) you can see 3 different species, or are they 4?
Nice, isn’t it ?!
This blog was translated with help of Google Translate !