Lichens: Nature's Indicator of Fresh Clean Air
Abe V Rotor
Welcome to Living with Nature - School on Blog
Lesson: How do we know if we are living in a pristine environment? Consult the lichens in your area.
Foliose lichen, Parks and Wildlife Nature Center QC. Note the smaller size of this specimen as compared to the foliose lichen in Lipa (above). Lichens may differ not only in structure but by the component members - a lichen being a community of alga and fungus living in mutualism. Generally, as the air becomes polluted the size of a lichen decreases - or may totally disappear.
Fruticose lichen appears like beard. This presence and condition of the fruticose lichen is perhaps the ultimate assurance of good air quality. Tagaytay (Angels Hills Retreat Center)
Community of green algae, lichen and moss (UP Diliman). During the summer months the moss in its sporophytic phase dries up but grows back the following rainy season. This is not the case of lichens.
If you find lichens growing in the area where you live, you are very lucky. You are away from the black cloud of smog, the confines of "maddening" crowd, smoke belching vehicles, and spewing factory chimneys. And you have all the reasons to be happy - so with your family. This is luxury today.
The air your breath is fresh and clean, cool and soothing. Your lungs are clear, your skin glistens clean and robust, you walk with stride and gait, and you wear a smile even if you are not aware of it. It is because the air that surrounds us is a natural blanket that enwraps our body physically and physiologically, outside and inside, through respiration and circulation.
Thank the lowly lichen - nature's biological indicator.
What is the lichen made of? How long does it live? Read more about Lichens